Monday, April 30, 2012

weekend review: onion crescents

Figure 2. In preparation: Oh She Glows' crispy baked onion rings. When I automatically cut my onion in half due to habit, I thought I had ruined my first attempt at making onion rings. But, onion crescents, it turns out, are just as delicious!

Figure 3. Saturday night's dinner: grilled chicken breasts with maple-mustard marinade, green pea rice, crispy baked onion crescents, and grilled kale.

Figure 4. Out of the oven: bacon, tomato, and arugula pizza.

 Figure 5. Sunday night's dinner: bacon, tomato, and arugula pizza alongside a warm spinach and broccoli salad. This pizza may have been my favorite pizza-creation yet! And this salad was so good it will be making a repeat appearance soon - like maybe next weekend soon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

the eating slowly experiment: mindful eating method (introduction)

Eating slowly seems like such a simple goal, but I am terrible at it. Really, really, terrible. I guess it's a good thing I still have two methods left to test in my eating slowly experiment. I certainly hope I can find a method or combination of methods that work for me. Maybe I will never be a slow eater, but I can hope to be at least a moderately-paced eater, right? Maybe mindful eating, the test method I am introducing today, is my solution...

Eating Slowly Method #4

Method to be Tested. Practice mindful eating (thinking carefully about flavors, textures, etc. while eating).

How to do it. While eating, chew each bite carefully, taking the time and thought to reflect on how the food impacts all of your senses including how it looks, feels, and tastes. Also, during each eating period, stay mindful of the overall experience including the foods nutritional qualities, your satiety, and enjoyment.

Dates for Implementation. Thursday, April 26 to Thursday, May 17.

E-mail me ( or leave comments on this post to provide me with feedback as you use this method, or, if you already do this, how it works for you! Look for a results post around May 17.

Remember you can see the current eating slowly results table and check out the details and results for my other methods at the bottom of my food experiment page. 

Eat, reflect, eat reflect...


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

what i ate wednesday: issue 31

Ready, set, food porn!

   Figure 1. Breakfast: (you guessed it) a bowl of Kashi GoLean Original mixed with Post Great Grains Raisins, Dates, & Pecans cereal, 1/2 banana, and almond milk. I also had 1/2 banana (un-pictured) before my morning run.

         Figure 2. Lunch: quinoa with roasted tomatoes, walnuts, and olives on a bed of slightly-steamed spinach. 

 Figure 3. Afternoon snack: a Pink Lady apple and a mix of dry roasted almonds and salt & pepper cashews.

Figure 4. Dinner: Cinnamon sweet potato fries drizzled in honey alongside roasted green bean fries drizzled in hummus 'dressing' (plain hummus [I always use Sabra] thinned with almond milk) and toasted pecans. Fries with a side of fries. I like the sound of that.

Figure 5. Dessert: plain Greek yogurt and chocolate pudding = my new dessert obsession.

And that concludes another What I Ate Wednesday (featuring what I ate Tuesday, April 24).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

the eating slowly experiment: pause and calm method (results)

It's hard to believe another three weeks have elapsed during which time I have been using (or trying to use) the 'pause and calm method' as my third test method in the eating slowly experiment

Results. In my head: I pictured myself like this lovely girl in the photo above, calmly taking a moment before gently placing a perfectly portioned spoon of food in her mouth and taking a moment to tilt her head and take a subtle and perfect photo. In reality: I rarely remembered or had the self-control to take this small moment before shoveling food into my mouth while on the couch in my pajamas, my hair jammed in a messy ponytail. Some things aren't as easy as they seem...

This method was hard to do. At first, at least when I was eating alone, I would calmly take deep breaths before I began eating. When I did manage to do this, I found that the overall eating experience was only slightly slower. But really, it was the fork down method (which I am still using) that really made the impact.

Alternatively, when I was around others, I found this method uncomfortable and awkward to implement. I think I was asking too much of myself. Taking just a second (rather than a full minute) to stop and evaluate your plate before eating is important. But, this method certainly isn't the holy grail of slow eating. Not even close.

How did/does the 'pause and calm method' work for you? Feel free to comment on this post and/or e-mail me ( with your feedback. Look for an introduction post for eating slowly method four soon!

Monday, April 23, 2012

weekend review: surprise!

In case you missed it, I turned 30 last week. Yes, 30. Saturday, my lovely family came to celebrate by taking me on a food tour in downtown (five stops at local restaurants for food sampling). Little did I know, they had invited my closest friends, many that I hadn't seen in years, to surprise me.

It turned out to be day filled with all of my favorite people in the world, delicious food, hugs, tears, laughter, a moderate amount of alcohol, more hugs, more tears, more laughter, and unreasonably large slices of chocolate cake. What could be better? 

30 may have just been my happiest birthday yet.

Figure 1. Hugs, tears, happiness.

Figure 2. Food tour stop at a local Italian restaurant. Pinot Grigio, homemade foccacia dipped in olive oil, a simple tomato and cucumber salad (top right), a mozzarella, roasted red peppers, basil and olive oil appetizer (bottom left), and homemade caprese pasta (bottom right).

Figure 3. Food tour stop at a roof-top bar. Locally-brewed beer (top left), smoked chicken salad (top right), pork bbq (bottom left), and pimento cheese (bottom right) all scooped up with buttery crackers.

Figure 4. More food tour stops. Seafood gumbo (top left), chocolate truffles: red wine, jasmine, and salted caramel (top right), and frozen yogurt (bottom).

Figure 5. Back at home for double chocolate mocha cake from my favorite bakery in town. 

Note: All photos courtesy of my sister-in-law C.W. and bestie J.B.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

my less serious day: eggs & ketchup

If you don't dip your eggs in ketchup your life is sad and empty. I'm just sayin'...


Top: Anthropologie; skirt & belt: LOFT; shoes: Miz Mooz via Piperlime.


This morning I hit the pavement for a 30-minute run at working pace. I took three 15-minute walks during my day - morning, lunchtime, and after work. My afternoon workout was a 60-minute Body Pump class.


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, 1/2 banana, and almond milk.

Lunch was a spinach and romaine salad with grape tomatoes, leftover roasted broccoli, green and orange bell peppers, hummus, dates, toasted pecans, and balsamic vinegar.

My afternoon snack was a Fuji apple and cinnamon-roast almonds (these are amazing).

Dinner was two scrambled eggs, a whole wheat English muffin topped with Earth Balance, and roasted broccoli. The eggs and broccoli were dipped lots and lots of ketchup.

Dessert was Special K Protein Plus cereal mixed with more cinnamon-roast almonds.

Note: this post represents what happened in my world on Monday, April 16. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

what i ate wednesday: issue 30

Today is a big day.
Today I have done 30 WIAW posts.
Today I have done 30 years of living.

Happy less serious birthday to me.

 Figure 1. Breakfast: a bowl of Kashi GoLean Original mixed with Post Great Grains Raisins, Dates, & Pecans cereal, 1/2 banana, and almond milk. I also had 1/2 banana (un-pictured) before my morning run.

Figure 2. Lunch: a spinach salad with grape tomatoes, leftover roasted broccoli, red onion, chickpeas, and salt & pepper cashews tossed in white wine vinegar, salt, and Herbs de Provence. A slice of whole wheat toast on the side.

Figure 3. Afternoon snack: a Fuji apple and PB2.

Figure 4. Dinner: a sweet potato with feta cheese, toasted pecans, and a drizzle of honey with a side of spicy roasted cauliflower

Figure 5. Dessert: dark chocolate.

And that concludes another What I Ate Wednesday (featuring what I ate Tuesday, April 17). On menu today (my birthday): cake, fish tacos, and french fries...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

my less serious momma: red beet eggs

Nothing can compare to mom's cooking.

When so many of you, dear readers, asked about my recent red beet egg salad, I was inspired to create a new series called my less serious momma. A series where my mom herself shares her culinary creations - from old family favorites to new healthy experiments. Her food, her pictures, her words. No, these recipes probably won't have a web link, but you can be sure they will always be filled with joy, love, and comfort - just like mom.

Today, the recipe for momma's red beet eggs that started it all...

Momma's Red Beet Eggs
1c juice from a jar of pickled beets
All the beets from the jar (about a 12-16 oz jar I think) or can be omitted if not a beet fan but I love beets
1 c vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
2 tsp mixed pickling spices
1/2 tsp salt
12 hard-boiled eggs
1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings

Combine all with 2 c water or enough to cover eggs in a large bowl.  Refrigerate for several days.

You can make a second batch of eggs with the same beet mixture if you haven't yet had enough. Would be interesting to make red beet egg salad.

Monday, April 16, 2012

weekend review: stuffed

 Figure 1. Before hitting the grill: stuffed mini bell peppers. These peppers were stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese, Greek yogurt, green onions, shallots, cilantro, and lime juice and were absolutely amazing. (Note: I followed the above linked recipe exactly except I subbed Greek yogurt for the sour cream. Worked beautifully).

Figure 2. Saturday night's dinner: jerk chicken and stuffed mini bell peppers, long grain & wild rice, and roasted broccoli.

Figure 3. Sunday night's dinner: spring vegetable carbonara and a lemony arugula salad. I ate so much of this pasta (because it was good and I was just in that mood) that, when I finally stopped, I was stuffed. Fitting, no?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Both Yellow Haired Girl and Jessica @ What Would Jessica Eat? recently nominated me for the Liebster Blog award.

What could be better than accepting a lovely award from some of your favorite blog friends? Easy. If receiving this award also came with a slice of chocolate cake.

<Insert the long and disappointing silence of not having received any chocolate cake>

I kid (somewhat). I happily accept this award by sharing five random facts about myself with you, dear readers:

1. I love beer. Bitter, hoppy beer. My standing favorite? Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

2. I can't stop watching Cupcake Wars.

3. I once was blind (i.e., legally blind), but now I see (near 20/20 vision thanks to LASIK surgery in 2009).

4. Whenever I make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I make one 'half' notably smaller than the other. I always eat the small 'half' first. That way, when I get to the remaining portion I am always excited to have more than half remaining (I know...weird).

5. I am mildly obsessed with strong arms (mine, yours, everyone's).

Previous Blog Awards/Tags:
My nominations for the Liebster Blog Award go to:

2. Doris @ vanillacocoberry
4. Jamie @ Jamie's Dharma
5. Gabby @ The Veggie Nook

Congratulations blog friends! The award instructions are below and your chocolate cake is on its way...

The Liebster Blog Award Rules
1. Choose 5 up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers to award the Liebster to. (Note: I have no idea how to figure out how many followers blogs have myself)
2. Show your thanks to the blogger(s) who gave you the award by linking back to them.
3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blog so they know about the award.
4. Share 5 random facts about yourself that people don't know about you.

(Images:1, 2, 3)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

what i ate wednesday: issue 29

 Figure 1. Breakfast: a bowl of Kashi GoLean Original mixed with Post Great Grains Raisins, Dates, & Pecans cereal, 1/2 banana, and almond milk. I also had 1/2 banana (un-pictured) before my morning run.

Figure 2. Lunch: leftover roasted asparagus and Brussels sprouts with two of mom's red beet eggs. A bowl of plain Greek yogurt with homemade granola on the side.

Figure 3. Afternoon snack: a Braeburn apple (I tragically bought the wrong kind) and almonds.

Figure 4. Dinner: a Morningstar chicken patty with ketchup, roasted garlic and olive oil couscous, and steamed broccoli. This is my go-to quick and easy dinner.

Figure 5. Dessert: popcorn with a drizzle of chocolate PB2 'sauce'.

And that concludes another What I Ate Wednesday (featuring what I ate Tuesday, April 10).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

the cereal experiment: Kellogg's Special K Protein Plus

I started the cereal experiment many, many months ago after realizing the cereal I was consuming every day, Special K Fruit & Yogurt, was a sugary (albeit delicious) concoction of low fiber and low protein flakes. While recently standing in the cereal aisle admiring my old love, I spotted a new addition to the Special K family, Kellogg's Special K Protein Plus. Once I realized it fit all of my criteria for a healthy cereal, I decided it would be the next test case in my experiment.

Results. A cereal story:

Sunday morning I opened my box of Kellogg's Special K Protein Plus and popped a flake in my mouth expecting flavor reminiscent of cardboard. To my surprise, a burst of flavor and sweetness struck my senses. "Oh wow!" I exclaimed to my boyfriend who was patiently watching my experimentation. I continued chewing the flake and my smile quickly turned into a grimace as I realized that flavor was coming from artificial sweetener. "What the..." I started while reaching for the cereal box. I quickly searched the ingredient list and made an unfortunate discovery. "Damn artificial sweeter," I muttered in a huff only a healthy living blogger would make. "You have to eat that cereal for the sake of the experiment," retorted my boyfriend in a statement only a healthy living blogger's boyfriend would make. Knowing he was right, I sat down and continued eating...

Sure enough, this cereal is flavored with sucralose. And, while a year ago I wouldn't have noticed - my re-vamped taste buds, now used to fairly 'clean' food, are heightened to this unnatural flavor. My taste buds were not pleased.

Despite its questionable use of artificial sweeter, I enjoyed the hearty, whole grain flavor and crunchy texture of these flakes. As do all flakes, these went soggy a bit earlier than I would have preferred, but maintained the crispness better than other flakes I have tried (I'm looking at you Golden Goodness). There are only 100 calories in the 3/4 cup serving size, which means I poured a double serving and mixed in granola. A girl cannot survive on a measly 100 calorie breakfast.

Kellogg's Special K Protein Plus has some surprisingly impressive nutritional stats. Per serving, there are 5 grams of fiber and a whopping 10 grams of protein. There is also a notable 8% of calories from sugar, which is almost half of what the other cereals contain. But, as noted above this is because although there is little sugar, there is sucralose.

I feel like its final standing as a 5th place winner is biased because my formula does not account for the artificial sweetener content. But, to be fair, based on the current formula results this cereal comes out with a good ranking.

All in all, Kellogg's Special K Protein Plus is a protein-packed sucralose-laced cereal choice that will likely not make a second appearance in my cereal bowl.