Tag Archives: tea

Orange You Glad…

Yesterday was the day of orange. I knew it would be from the beginning. I like to think of it as a day with a sunny outlook. Anyway, because I saw the theme coming from a mile away, I decided to document it.

I started my day out with orange juice and pumpkin yogurt.

The orange juice is pretty self-explanatory, but as for the pumpkin yogurt…

Into the mix went:

  • Vanilla 0% Chobani
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • Nut Granola
  • a sprinkle of Kashi Go Lean! Crunch
  • dash of nutmeg
  • a few shakes of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin butter

It’s funny — both times I’ve had pumpkin yogurt, I thought it had a weird texture for the first couple of bites and then got totally addicted to it.

I’m weird.

But seriously, it’s like pumpkin mousse. You have to try it. Just give it a few bites.

I also had some Pumpkin Spice coffee, which I purposefully served in my orange mug.

You can call it cheating. I call it “working with what I’ve got.”

Lunch was a blogger favorite.

That’s half of a (huge!) sweet potato (which I’d baked the night before at 400 degrees for about an hour), topped with about a serving and a half of baked beans.

This combination is fantastic. I love it.

See?

It’s even (c’mon, be imaginative) sooooort of in the shape of a heart! Plus, it could not be easier to prepare.

The only problem was that it was quite hot out yesterday and I wasn’t all about the hot lunch. Oh well. There are worse problems to have.

I went out for tea (well, we went out for coffee, but I got tea) with my friend Amy after work. I stuck with the theme. I also cheated worked with my circumstances again for the sake of the orange theme.

That’s vanilla rooibos tea, which was lovely.

Funny thing about dinner — I’d planned on eating another orange dinner, but then I came home to this:

… and a note from Mark telling me to help myself.

I have the best roommate, ever. Hands down.

And, I mean, it was fate that there were orange tomatoes on it.

And yes, I did choose my piece accordingly.

The things I do for love blogging.

By the way, in case any of you were wondering, I pushed my surgery to next week. So, no, I’m not going under the knife today. The surgery is now scheduled for next Wednesday, the 19th. Cross your fingers for me that it actually goes according to plan this time?

I actually think I’m more prepared for it now and I’m glad it was pushed. In fact, I am absolutely convinced that the reason I got sick was because I was so nervous and worked up about the surgery. I wasn’t ready yet. I (think I) am now.

What do you think? Can you make yourself sick from worry? Have you ever done that?

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Out To Eat

I have been out to eat so much in the past week or so. At least half of my meals have been prepared by someone else.

It started on Wednesday night, when I went to Lotus Vegan, a vegan (obviously) Thai restaurant in North Hollywood.

I’d never been there before, but Lauren was sure I’d like it. She was right. As you guys know, I’m kind of obsessed with yellow curry, so my choice was obvious. Well, for the most part. I decided to try seitan, so I got half veggies and half seitan. I will not be making that mistake again. I just ended up avoiding the seitan. Not for me.

The meal started with a salad, which I loved… probably because it was topped with a dressing that was basically made of peanut butter.

The dinner came with rice (I asked for brown) and a spring roll.

I ordered this mild and it was still super spicy to me.

But, I mean, I’m a wimp.

Anyway, that meal was big enough that it was also my lunch on Thursday. And that’s even with avoiding the seitan. In other words, it was a lot of food.

I went out to eat with Lauren again on Friday (I guess I like her). This time, we went with Mark.

It was an impromptu friend date, as I decided I wanted sushi (I’m a new sushi lover, I guess!) and I knew Mark and Lauren wouldn’t be able to turn it down (Manipulative? Me? Nah.). We went to a place in Burbank that Lauren frequents called Tomo Sushi.

This was one of those legit places. In other words, I was kind of intimidated.

(Please bear with my grainy, blurry pictures. You know how I feel about flash in restaurants.)

Anyway, I was having a lot of trouble figuring out what I wanted, so I ended up getting a vegetarian plate. No raw fish. Again, I’m a wimp.

Anyway, the plate was good, but I was kind of confused about what I was ordering. I had been under the (clearly false) impression that the vegetable tempura would be in the roll with the cucumber, so I was sort of sad about that. Oh, well. I still enjoyed it! Well, everything but the salad. I’m pretty sure the dressing on the salad was basically mayonnaise. Gross.

Oh, and we went to Pinkberry afterward. I’ve come to the conclusion that Yogurtland, without fail, makes me sick, but that Pinkberry does not. This is sad because I love Yogurtland (and also because it’s cheaper by far), but I’ll take Pinkberry!

Such sacrifices I have to make.

Anyway, the line was crazy long, so we entertained ourselves by chatting and taking pictures. This one is my favorite:

For my dessert, I got half Coconut yogurt and half Blood Orange, topped with coconut, dark chocolate crisps, and toasted almonds.

It was amazing, just in case you were wondering.

Anyway, I was up early on Saturday morning for spinning, which was, as always, amazing. I was, however, starving by the time class was over. I rushed home and made one of the best breakfasts, ever.


I am, however, going to tease you with that. It’s worth its own post. Plus, I can already tell that this one is going to be ridiculously long.

After I downed that breakfast and took a shower, it was time to head to Silver Lake to meet up with one of my friends, Becky. We have always met at the same Starbucks, but this time I asked her to introduce me to one of her favorite cafes.

We went to the Casbah Cafe, which has a chill vibe and a fun Moroccan theme.

Actually, before we went to the cafe, we went to a nearby Farmer’s Market, which was more “market” than “farmer’s.”

It was fun, but it was definitely more of a “look around and enjoy the eclectic offerings” kind of thing than anything else.

Back to the cafe.

I especially loved the color outside. I think that would have drawn me in even if I weren’t meeting someone there!

 

Becky and I both got the Iced Mint Tea, which was light and refreshing. However, I’m pretty sure it was just mint and water, which seemed a little cheap to me, but… oh well.

I also got the vegetable pita, which was similarly fresh and light.

It was not, however, enough food. I decided to treat my sweet tooth on the way out, so I got back in line to buy a biscotti.

But then, while I was there, I saw these:

And, well, I couldn’t resist. I mean, can you blame me?

Anyway, I got one of each.

And, I guess between my intense workout in the morning and the lightness of lunch, I was really hungry… because I definitely ate both within an hour of buying them! The scone was awesome. The biscotti disappointed. But… I’m pretty picky with biscotti.

Anyway, I only had a few hours between that meal out and the next. That evening, I had plans for dinner with my friend Ryan.

We went to a Greek restaurant (I can’t remember the name of it for the life of me, but it’s not one I’d highly recommend to fellow LA-ites anyway).

(Oh, and again, please forgive me for the blurry pictures.)

We split a pita and hummus as an appetizer, which I completely forgot to photograph.

I got a Greek salad, which I just topped with lemon juice instead of dressing (this is awesome, by the way), and I got two falafel on the side.

And then, because I’d enjoyed it so much the night before and because we were so close… we went to Pinkberry.

You know, again.

I got the exact same thing as I’d gotten the day before, except I subbed in Pomegranate for the Blood Orange.

I am such a creature of habit. But hey, I get props for switching one of the yogurt flavors, right?

No?

Ryan and I headed back to my apartment to hang out for a little while, and while there, he was intrigued by my foam roller (probably because I’d gone on and on about how much it hurt so good).

He decided to try it out.

He could barely handle it. Everybody thinks it can’t possibly hurt that much until they try it!

Made me laugh. ­čÖé

Anyway, after Ryan left, Mark and I headed to a party that my friend Nick was having. No pictures, but it was fun.

And, in my post-party tradition, Sunday morning called for eggs and bread. I made a “breakfast pizza” by topping a piece of Naan with Earth Balance, two eggs, and cheese.

Perfection. Seriously, this is the perfect lazy morning breakfast.

Anyway, the rest of my day was totally unconventional. For one, I didn’t watch the game. (I know, I know). Instead, I checked out a cafe in Hollywood called the Bourgeois Pig.

Unfortunately, I captured neither the essence inside (very funky) nor my drink, which was the Iced Chai that they’re known for. It was very good, though.

Much of the rest of the day was spent buying these…

(!!!)

… and setting them up. You don’t even want to know how messy the apartment got from the beginning to the end of this process.

These were partial birthday and Christmas presents (as in, partially funded… this stuff is expensive!), which I had been holding off on buying until the February sales kicked in.

So, we went from this (pulling from an old post with Christmas decorations)…

… to this!

Nice, right? I am so excited about these new additions. I never treat myself to stuff like this, so it’s quite the novelty.

Whew! And now you’re caught up. Maybe I need to get back to writing shorter posts.

Did you check out any new restaurants or cafes this weekend?

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Challenge Failures

I’ve been failing pretty miserably at my clean out the pantry challenge in the past 24 hours. What can I say, sometimes life gets in the way!

First, last night, I scrapped my plans for eggs and yoga when Hanna invited me over for dinner.

(I’m kind of bummed you can’t see the super-cute french braid pigtails Mark did in my hair!)

We went to Whole Foods to get our dinners.

Because I was craving Kombucha but a woman took the last one right before I could get to it (!), I decided to try this coconut probiotic drink.

Thumbs down. It tasted like carbonated coconut vinegar. What you see missing from the bottle above was all I could stomach.

The dinner, however, was a huge thumbs up!

I got a base of brown rice, on top of which I layered roasted vegetables and black beans. YUM! I also got one little plantain. You know, for good measure.

The vegetables were insanely good. Seriously, I want to know their secret.

It didn’t seem like a lot of food, but it was so filling. I couldn’t even finish it!

I failed at my challenge again this morning.

Well, I didn’t fail at breakfast.

Into the mix went:

  • 0% Raspberry Chobani
  • CranBran VitaTop (I’ve had them in the freezer and this is the first time I’ve tried one)
  • blueberries
  • coconut
  • spoonful White Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter

It was good, but I was kind of underwhelmed by the VitaTop.

I got a package of VitaTops because other bloggers rave about them, but I didn’t think the one I tried this morning was anything special. Maybe I need to try a different flavor?

I realized this morning (AKA too late), that I hadn’t thawed or prepared anything for lunch today (kind of crucial during a clean-out-the-fridge/pantry challenge), so I was SOL. The good news was that I had to run an errand right next door to a grocery story anyway, so I picked up a frozen Amy’s dinner.

I didn’t love it at first, but it actually grew on me a lot. At only 290 calories, it packs a lot of good ingredients and even more staying power.

I ended up being pretty impressed! I’d buy it again.

Oh, it’s also Coffee Bean Friday today. I haven’t mentioned this in a while! I moved away from ordering anything interesting lately, not wanting my afternoon snack to consist of sugary (or fake sugary) lattes. I much prefer simple lattes from Starbucks, anyway. (Sorry, Coffee Bean).

Today, I just got a Pomegranate Blueberry Tea.

Keeping it simple, ya know?

I have super fun plans tonight… Claire and I are cooking a multi-course dinner for a friend date! Woo!

What are you doing this weekend? Any fun plans?

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How I’ve Been Doing

You’ve probably already noticed that my blog has been changing. I haven’t really kept up with a day’s eats, consistently (or in a timely fashion), in weeks.

As the blog progresses, I find that many of my favorite posts include food and fitness, but do not center upon making sure I detail every morsel that goes into my mouth or every minute of my workouts. I’m hoping you feel the same way. I’m not 100% sure how the blog will progress from here on out, but I hope you’ll be along for the ride… we’ll figure it out as we go along! As always, I’m eager to hear your input.

Of course, this is still a healthy living blog, and food and fitness obviously continue to be absolutely crucial focal points of the blog.

Also, most of my New Year’s resolutions focus on food and fitness! Naturally, I want to fill you in on how I’ve been doing with them. Given all of the traveling I did on January 1st and 2nd, my New Year’s resolutions began firmly on the morning of January 3rd.

I’ve pretty much been eating the same foods, but in different (or not) combinations.

Breakfasts have twice been yogurt bowls (minus cereal)…

Into the mix went:

  • 3/4 container plain, 0% Voskos Greek yogurt
  • pomegranate seeds
  • blackberries
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • nut granola OR nut butter

And twice, since I had to eat away from home, yogurt bowls in a jar… or YBIAJ.

And, one morning when it was actually warm enough, I had a smoothie

Into the mix went:

  • 3 ice cubes
  • handful fresh baby spinach
  • blackberries
  • 2/3 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • heaping tbs TJ’s 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop Greens & Whey

On top:

  • coconut butter (mixed with a little coconut oil to make it drizzle)
  • pomegranate seeds

Lunches have been two different forms of veggies + chicken.

Twice that’s been a Thai salad (the same one, both days)…

Into the mix went:

  • bed of baby greens
  • chicken
  • edamame
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • baby heirloom tomatoes
  • cucumber slices
  • TJ’s Asian Style Spicy Peanut Dressing (OMG love)

And twice that’s been roasted veggies …

plus chicken and parmesan.

Roasted Vegetables & Chicken:

  • carrots
  • eggplant, cubed
  • broccoli
  • onion
  • EVOO
  • salt & pepper
  • garlic powder
  • cooked chicken

Everything except the chicken was roasted for 60 minute at 400 degrees. Chicken was added after.

Snacks have twice been Larabars and twice been cheese and grapes (randomly).

Dinners have been more varied and less photographed. One night was an egg & veggie scramble; one night was out at Panera with a friend, where I got black bean soup and an apple; one night was a serving of Mark’s take on my vegetable casserole (sans orzo & chickpeas), which he had made for himself and shared with me; and one night was at Lauren’s apartment, where she served me delicious, homemade and completely “diet”-friendly turkey chili.

She even helped me out with my resolution to replace dessert with tea.

How cute is that tea set?

As for the fitness side of things…

I’ve done really well with the whole listening to my body thing.

I worked out on Monday by doing the elliptical and boot camp but didn’t do any exercises that even seemed questionable for my knee.

I skipped Tuesday’s workout because I’d been up late the night before to pick Mark up from the airport and reminded myself that sleep was more important than a workout.

On Wednesday, I did boot camp and then discovered that my gym had added an Arc Trainer to the cardio room (!!!), so I used that because it’s much friendlier to my knee.

On Thursday, I took a spin class, even though the class starts earlier than my usual workouts. I wanted both the variety and the intensity, as I only had an hour to work out for the day.

And again on Friday, I skipped my workout, as I needed to get my car fixed this morning.

Not too shabby, right?

How are you all doing with your New Year’s resolutions?

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Garlic Convert

I had the exact same thing for Monday night’s dinner as I did for yesterday’s lunch, except that dinner had one small potato and lunch had two. I’m learning that I need a lot of food at lunch but much less at dinner. Is anyone else like that?

Since Mark is an awesome roommate, he threw three small potatoes in the oven for me as I left work on Monday night so that, by the time I got home after a quick trip to Trader Joe’s, they’d be ready. He also sauteed some broccoli for me (leftover from the veggie tray at Sunday’s Cookie Exchange!) in unrefined coconut oil (so much better than the refined version). Is he great, or what? I’ve also learned that I need to eat ASAP after work, as food keeps me up at night and I’m usually in bed by 10pm on weeknights because I’m a senior citizen I wake up so early. So, Mark starting my dinner helped me a lot!

Anyway, I topped the baked potatoes with nonfat plain greek yogurt, a little butter, light cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, and Parmesan Garlic Gold Nuggets. I had the broccoli on the side. Well, I had it on the side for the dinner version of the meal.

For a sense of portions, that’s a (chipped) dessert-sized plate as opposed to my usual dinner-sized one.

For lunch yesterday, I just threw the broccoli together with the potatoes (on a bigger plate).

By the way, I used to hate garlic. And I mean, I really, really hated it. Or, I thought I did. I avoided it at all costs. I’d order dishes at Italian restaurants, much to the chef’s dismay (and, let’s be honest, my Italian family’s), without the garlic.

I was looked at like I was crazy.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when in the past year, I realized just how much I love garlic. Dragon breath be damned, people can deal. So, once I discovered my new found love for garlic, I cannot tell you how excited I was to try  Garlic Gold. After hearing all about it on other blogs, I was basically dying to try it and, happily, they agreed to send me some samples.

Check out the goodies I got:

Garlic-infused Olive Oil, Garlic Gold in oil, four different kinds of Garlic Gold nuggets (Parmesan, Sea Salt, Italian Herb and Original), and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette.

I am most enamored with the nuggets. And of the nuggets, I most love the Parmesan (I think you all know I love parmesan at this point) and Sea Salt (no surprises there, either) varieties.

Garlic Gold also has a holiday gift box, so if you have any garlic lovers in your life, well, you have a ready-made gift for $25. Easy-peasy. ­čÖé In fact, I just sent one to my mom for her birthday!

(I can say that already because she didn’t wait to open her gift. Sigh.)

Anyway, I’d be remiss not to mention the desserts I ate after each of those meals. After Monday night’s dinner, I broke off a part of the big piece of Melissa‘s amazing Peppermint Oreo Bark that I saved from the exchange.

And, after yesterday’s lunch, I had a pear the size of my hand!

It was also Tea Tuesday, so I carried the tradition on even without Kim here. I made myself a cup of Cacao Mint (my favorite). I enjoyed the tea with a S’mores Luna Bar. They paired nicely!

Do you have any foods that you used to think you hated and now love?

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Hummingbird Heartbeat

Remember how, the night before my 10K, I had that heartbeat issue? Well, for whatever reason, I had that problem again Sunday night. I really don’t know what it is. I’ve always assumed that it’s in reaction to certain foods, but I’ve thus far been unable to really identify what those foods are, other than MSG. If anybody has any guesses, by all means, let me know!

Anyway, because I didn’t fall asleep until after 1am that night (which means I was just lying in bed listening to my heartbeat for about 2 1/2 hours, b-t-dubs), I reset my alarm to 8am. No matter how desperately I wanted to go to the gym yesterday morning, there was no way I was waking up at 6am. That’s just not safe, especially since I’m recovering from an injury.

So, I slept in, felt at least mildly refreshed, and set about making a bowl of PB& J oatmeal.

Into the mix went:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 dashes cinnamon
  • dash Splenda
  • dash nutmeg
  • capful pure vanilla extract
  • ~3/4 cup frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)

On top:

  • 1 tbs Nuttzo Omega 3 Multi-Nut Bitter
  • sprinkle of coconut

Mark got a container of Nuttzo and didn’t love it (he’s kind of a nut butter purist, so he says), but I am all about it! I love all of the texture and crunch. Since I liked it so much, he gave it to me. Win!

Lunch was delicious, but nothing new. I had the remains of the refrigerated (I have at least 2 frozen servings left) of the Hearty Minestrone Stew (with an apple on the side for something sweet).

I seriously love that stew. I could eat it forever.

For snack late yesterday afternoon, I had another one of those awesome Chobani yogurts that were sent to me.

Yesterday’s pick was the honey flavor, which I topped with some Life cereal.

This is one of the most filling snacks I’ve had, which is great for someone like me who is most hungry from about 2:30pm-6pm. I always get really snacky during that time, so a filling snack nips that problem right in the bud.

By the way, do you notice the change of environment? I’m covering my co-worker Kim’s desk yesterday and today. That’s the very same Kim who makes the tea for Tea Tuesdays, by the way! She actually makes tea every day for someone else in the office, so I’m on duty while I’m covering her desk.

For the other person, I made Cacao Mint (by request), which I’ve had before. For myself, I made Almond Biscotti (black tea). It’s very hard for me to turn anything down with the word “almond” in the title.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this tea. It was pretty disappointing. I think I was just expecting a lot more. It smelled much better than it tasted.

Did you try anything new yesterday?

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This Is What A Migraine Looks Like

(In Food. Mostly.)

I fell asleep on Sunday night with a migraine that had hit me suddenly and hard. I hoped I’d wake up headache-free, with the migraine just a distant memory.

I hoped wrong. Monday morning began with me waking up to go to the gym, walking as far as the bathroom, and realizing I was in trouble. No gym for me. I went right back to bed.

(Well, I called my mom for a pitiful “I don’t feel well” pouting session first. I’m 24 years old. No big deal.)

I woke up again at 7:30 and pretty much went straight to Starbucks and CVS. I had some migraine supplies to get.

Morning cocktail: Coffee and Excedrin. (Parrrtay!)

Breakfast: coffee #2 of the morning and cinnamon raisin toast with peanut butter.

It definitely did not help that my office’s heat was broken yesterday.

That was awesome.

Lunch: tomato soup and Wheat Thins.

Dinner: homemade Tortellini, Kielbsasa and Spinach Soup (recipe from Runs With Spatulas)… minus the Kielbasa.

I kind of (read: totally) failed. Never use vegetable broth as a soup base unless you’re a vegetarian. Chicken broth is so superior.

Lesson learned: I should (almost) always listen to my mother.

Dessert: Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Tea.

Actually, that’s my roommate’s tea (and its not the Candy Cane one), but his mug was so much prettier than mine that I decided to use a picture of his instead.

And early to bed.

Monday Morning Workout

Non-existent. I was fast asleep.

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