Thursday, May 31, 2012

the eating slowly experiment: 20 minutes method (introduction)

Eating slowly is an elusive and complicated beast. So far I have tackled four methods for three weeks each in the eating slowly experiment. Today marks the final method as defined at the beginning of the experiment, the 20-minutes method. Brace yourselves, this one requires equipment...

No, I don't have a Garmin. Yes, I am still awesome.

Eating Slowly Method #5

Method to be Tested. Time 20 minutes and stretch out meals accordingly.

How to do it. At the beginning of each meal, time 20 minutes (the amount of time it takes your brain to register satiety). Start your timer and eat your meal slowly enough so it lasts the entire 20 minutes. I would also suggest to pause at the halfway point and assess your experience and satiety (mindful eating).

Dates for Implementation. Thursday, May 31 to Thursday, June 14.

Remember this experiment is designed to be interactive and this is the last test method so you should play along if you haven't already! No really, you should. E-mail me ( or leave comments on this post to provide me with feedback as you try this method along with me.

 Find other eating slowly methods on my food experiment page. 

Ready, set, eat (for 20-minutes)...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

what i ate wednesday: issue 36

    Figure 1. Breakfast: a bowl of Kashi GoLean Original mixed with the last of my slightly stale but still tasty homemade quinoa granola, 1/2 banana, and almond milk. Pre-run I had 1/2 banana and 1/2 mug of coffee.

   Figure 2. Lunch: leftover quinoa mac and cheese (I froze the last serving for a quick lunch - it reheated wonderfully) on top of arugula. Yes, I ate this straight out of the arugula container. Some call it lazy - I call it efficient.

Figure 3. Afternoon snack: a Gala apple and a mix of cinnamon-roast and raw almonds.

 Figure 4. Dinner: Scrambled eggs (1 egg and 2 egg whites) with a leftover grilled portobello mushroom (worth making!) and leftover marinated roasted red peppers, roasted zucchini and eggplant, and two pieces of whole wheat toast with Earth Balance. 

Figure 5. Dessert:a Skinny Cow heavenly peanut butter crisp.

And that concludes another What I Ate Wednesday (featuring what I ate Tuesday, May 29).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

weekend review: memorial day for one

Figure 1. Friday night's dinner: 15-minute creamy avocado pasta and roasted squash and zucchini.

Figure 2. Saturday afternoon baking: mom's favorite granola.

Figure 3. Sunday night's dinner: sausage ragu over creamy polenta and a lemony asparagus salad.

Figure 4. In preparation: my first roasted red pepper. I put a whole red pepper on a baking sheet in the oven at 450 degrees for 45 minutes, turning over every 15 minutes. I then immediately transferred the pepper to a bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and let cool. Once cool, you can easily remove the skin, stem, and seeds. I put a quarter of this pepper in the mayonnaise for my burger (see below) and sliced up the remainder, added a sliced garlic clove, covered in oil, and refrigerated for future use.

Figure 5. Monday night's dinner: a portobello burger with roasted red pepper mayonnaise, sweet potato fries, and roasted broccoli. I must say, a night to myself on the couch with a delicious burger and a Bethenney Ever After marathon turned out to be a pretty great Memorial Day after all.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

my less serious tips: on getting dressed

Somehow I've managed to consolidate my morning donning of outfits into a 5-minute (usually), stress-free (sometimes), fashion-producing (I think) process.

Today's tips: how to get dressed efficiently, fashionably, and without stress.

Figure 1. An outfit created around these shoes. The file name is even called 'shoes.png'.

Tip #1. Create an outfit around one piece. Pick one piece that you really want or need to wear and center your outfit around it. This might be something new, one of your favorites (Figure 1), something that fits your mood (e.g., a brightly colored top), or something necessary (e.g., you have to walk a lot today so you wear comfortable shoes).

Tip #2. Be inspired. Pull fashion inspiration from one of your favorite fashion bloggers and create a similar outfit (Figure 2). And I won't be at all upset if that blogger is, well, me.

 Figure 2. An outfit inspired by this post from Sydney at The Daybook.

Tip #3. Make a mess.  If your initial choice doesn't work, try on variations until something strikes you. Don't worry about the growing piles of discarded tops on your bed - you can clean them up tonight when you have more time (or at least push them aside before crawling into bed).

Tip #4. Have go-to outfits. Have outfits types that you know work and are easy to throw together without thinking. For me, this tends to be either: 
  1. jeans + partially tucked-in blouse + bold necklace + heels
  2. skirt + tucked-in blouse + belt + heels (Figure 3).
A formula for getting dressed? You better believe it.

 Figure 3. A version of my go-to outfit. Skirt + tucked-in blouse + belt + pumps. Done and done.

Tip #5. Don't get dressed. I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that on a rare occasion my getting dressed strategy fails me. This leaves me standing naked and dejected surrounded in piles of outfit rejects. When this happens, put back on your PJ's and 'work from home'.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

what i ate wednesday: issue 35

   Figure 1. Breakfast: a bowl of Kashi GoLean Original mixed with Post Great Grains Raisins, Dates, & Pecans cereal, 1/2 banana, and almond milk. Pre-run I had 1/2 banana and 1/2 mug of coffee.

   Figure 2. Lunch: a salad with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, leftover tomato and olive couscous, smoked almonds (<3), balsamic vinegar, and a quarter of an avocado mashed and thinned with almond milk, fresh lemon juice, nooch, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Figure 3. Afternoon snack: a Gala apple and dry-roasted wasabi edamame.

 Figure 4. Dinner: leftover quinoa mac and cheese alongside roasted green bean fries and roasted grape tomatoes (tossed them in with the green beans at the half-way point).

Figure 5. Dessert: plain Greek yogurt, cinnamon, Kashi GoLean Original, peanut butter, and honey.

And that concludes another What I Ate Wednesday (featuring what I ate Tuesday, May 22).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

the eating slowly experiment: mindful eating (results)

Three weeks pass in the blink of an eye. the scarfing of a meal. That is how long I've been practicing mindful eating as my fourth test method in the eating slowly experiment.

Results. Mindful eating is a romantic concept. Taking the time to mindfully chew, think, and process your food is the way I would certainly like to eat in an ideal world. But life isn't ideal. My life (like yours) is littered with rushed meals, stressful days, and a tired body and brain. At the end of a long day it is HARD to take the effort to think so carefully about dinner. To me it seems that mindfulness is a skill that will require careful cultivation over time. 

Here is my observation. The methods that were not concrete or measurable, like the mindful eating method or the pause and calm method, were easy to forget or skip. I even had to write myself post-it notes and scatter them around the house to remind me to eat mindfully, hence the pictures (and yes, I support radon testing). More concrete methods, with a tangible task, like the fork down method, were much more successful.

When I did manage to eat more mindfully, the meal was not only slower, but more pleasurable and satisfying.

I want to cultivate the skill of mindful eating, I do. As a result of this experiment I have been reading several books on the topic, which I hope will help me incorporate this type of behavior into my life. One book in particular, Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays, has a series of meditations and experiments included with the book that I would love to attempt. If you guys have any interest in doing this together in the form of an interactive 'mindful eating experiment', please let me know. Otherwise, I will do them on my own (hopefully) and report back to you.
Do you practice mindful eating? Pretty please comment on this post and/or e-mail me ( with your thoughts on the subject. Look for an introduction post for the final eating slowly method soon!

Monday, May 21, 2012

weekend review: kitchen courage

This weekend I put on my big girl pants and tackled cooking two foods I love, but have always been intimidated to attempt in my own kitchen: scallops and artichokes.

I rocked them both - and you should too.

Figure 1. Friday night's dinner: scallops with spinach and paprika syrup (you will want to drink this syrup) and tomato and olive couscous (see recipe below).

Tomato and Olive Couscous (Serves ~4)

1.5 cups couscous, prepared
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped grape tomatoes
1/4 cup kalamata olives
1/4 tsp sat

Cook 1-1.5 cups of couscous according to package directions. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup chopped red onion, 1/2 cup chopped grape tomatoes, 1/4 cup chopped kalamta olives, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add red onions, saute 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and olives, saute about 4 minutes more or until tender. Toss with couscous.

Figure 2. In preparation: sun-dried tomato and feta stuffed artichokes. Don't be afraid, it isn't that hard - I used this artichoke preparation tutorial.

Figure 4. Sunday afternoon baking: flax-seed whole wheat applesauce muffins.

Figure 5. Sunday night's dinner: quinoa mac and cheese (drool) and lemon and honey 
cabbage salad.

And to think I cooked this all for just myself, party of 1 style. Man, I'm good to myself.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

the cereal experiment: Kashi GoLean Crisp! Cinnamon Crumble

You know you're deeply entrenched in your healthy living blog when friends and family start gifting you boxes of cereal that meet your stringent experiment criteria. When my dear sister-in-law wrapped up this box of Kashi GoLean Crisp! Cinnamon Crumble and presented it to me on my recent birthday, I was more than thrilled to consider it my next test case in the cereal experiment.

Results. Kashi, you must have read my blog post when I reviewed your overly crunchy creation, Kashi GoLean Crunch!, because Crisp! overcomes all of your Crunch! cereals' limitations. No more chipped teeth or 30-minute soaking periods. GoLean Crisp! provides a perfect texture with a delightful cinnamony flavor.

Enter, a cereal tangent. {Folks can we please pause here for a second and address something that was recently emphasized to me by my dear blog friend Katie. What is with the exclamation point following the Crunch! or Crisp!? Are we that excited? Is it really that crunchy or crispy? Are we supposed to read the cereal name with emphasis? I mean, I love cereal as much as anyone, but it's cereal. Must we exclaim?}

Kashi GoLean Crisp! Cinnamon Crumble is not shy on the calories, with 190 for a 0.75 cup serving. The crisp blend is a texture wonderland, with lovely large clusters, oaty bits, and crispy twigs all dusted in cinnamon bliss. Not only does this cereal do well in a traditional bowl with milk (it stays crisp), but it makes a great snack with nuts and yogurt topping.

Like all of Kashi's products, Crisp! offers fantastic nutritional stats, with a punch of fiber (9 grams) and protein (10 grams). Unlike GoLean Original, Crisp! has a higher percentage of calories from sugar, but hey, when compared to Cookie Crisp (43%; yes this is accurate), it isn't doing too bad. After everything is considered, Kashi GoLean Crisp! Cinnamon Crumble walks away with a fourth place finish.

In conclusion, Kashi GoLean Crisp! Cinnamon Crumble is a nutritious and delicious crisp cereal treat that will make a welcome addition to my cereal repertoire.

See other cereal reviews here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

what i ate wednesday: issue 34

  Figure 1. Breakfast: a bowl of Kashi GoLean Original mixed with sweet almond and quinoa granola, 1/2 banana, and almond milk. Pre-run I had 1/2 banana and 1/2 mug of coffee.

Figure 2. Mid-morning snack: a Pink Lady apple.

   Figure 3. Lunch: out to eat for a grilled salmon salad. Salmon grilled with an Asian barbeque sauce over mixed greens with hard boiled eggs, cucumber salad, and crispy wonton strips and ginger soy dressing on the side. Yum!

Figure 4. Afternoon snack: another Pink Lady apples and cinnamon-roast almonds.

  Figure 5. The "I really want a brownie batter milkshake as I drive 2 hours home substitute": a large diet lemonade from Chick-fil-A.

 Figure 6. Dinner: roasted broccoli with ketchup and an ooey gooey peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Figure 7. Dessert: plain Greek yogurt with a crumbled Fiber One chocolate brownie, almond milk, and honey.

And that concludes another What I Ate Wednesday (featuring what I ate Tuesday, May 15).

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

my less serious day: intervention

Just like a crack addict spends his entire paycheck on getting a fix, I spend 30-40 dollars a week on produce alone. I also hoard my stash and refuse to share with anyone. 

If you don't see me for a few days, don't be surprised when find me in a dark corner - covered in broccoli florets and spinach leaves.


Top: unknown (old); skirt (please excuse the wrinkles): Hype via Ideeli; belt and shoes: TJ Maxx and/or Marshalls.


This morning I went on a 30-minute run at working pace followed by a short 15-minute cool down walk with L. Group fitness classes are cancelled at the gym this week so instead, I took a leisurely 60-minute walk with L in the afternoon.


Pre-workout I had 1/2 banana, 1/2 mug of black coffee, and 1 pint of water. For breakfast I had a bowl of Kashi GoLean Original mixed with Post Great Grains Raisin, Date, & Pecan cereal, chopped dates, cinnamon, and almond milk.

Lunch was a spinach and romaine lettuce salad with carrots, grape tomatoes, leftover roasted broccoli, smoked almonds, hummus thinned with almond milk, and balsamic vinegar. If you haven't drenched your salad in thinned hummus, you must. You really must.
My afternoon snack was a Pink Lady apple and cinnamon-roast almonds.

Dinner was a pile of spicy-roasted (cumin + garlic powder + cayenne) cauliflower and sweet potato topped with two fried eggs and salsa verde.

Dessert was a Skinny Cow peanut butter heavenly crisp.

Question: How much money do you spend on produce per week?

Note: this post represents what happened in my world on Monday, May 14. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

weekend review: whole

This weekend I drove 700 miles to drop my beau off at his summer-long internship.

This weekend I cried. 

This weekend I ate a lot and cooked very little.

This weekend I indulged in: cheap deep-fried Chinese food, an Oreo milkshake, a bagel smothered in peanut butter and honey, beer, key lime strawberry pie, chocolate chip cookies, red wine, and blueberry pancakes.

This weekend I didn't do a single second of formal exercise.

This weekend ended, I returned to a quiet house, drank two more glasses of wine, and made myself the best dinner I could think of to make myself feel whole again: a warm spinach and broccoli salad and grilled salmon paprika.