Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Citrus Overload

It's January. In Southern California. Which, really can only mean one thing...citrus!

Holy moly, it is EVERYWHERE. All the farmer's market are stocked. Every tree I walk past is dripping fruit. Sprouts has oranges for $0.36 a POUND. And good thing, because aside from raspberries and pineapple, citrus is pretty much the only thing I feel like eating right now. (No, not THOSE kind of cravings. Keep your pants on Mom.)

Since last weeks "Food for a Day" post was so fun, I thought this week, I'd give you guys a sneak peek inside of our fridge. Sound like fun? Here we go:

(Totally not staged. Don't all your groceries face front all the time? What pizza box on the counter?)
From left to right:

Top shelf - FF Greek yogurt, FF cottage cheese, Designer Whey protein powder (x2), FF ricotta, SF jam, soy creamer, Siggis (2 for $3 at Whole Foods this week, + $1 off coupon!) Earth Balance spread, Brita.

Middle Shelf - Leftovers (quiche, spaghetti), blueberries, brown rice, eggs, egg whites

Bottom shelf - Sugar snap peas, carrots, roasted brussel sprouts, roasted brocolli, baby carrots, veggie stock. (Sadly, our crispers are tooooo small, and a whole nother shelf is usually devoted to salad toppings and other miscellaneous veggies.)

Crisper left - Citrus. What's that? You'd like a closer look? Sure:

What, you guys don't have a whole drawer just devoted to citrus in your fridge? Anyone have any recipes for oranges?

Fridge door - Boat load of condiments, Silk light vanilla soy milk, Almond Breeze unsweetened almond milk, light mayo, soy sauce.

In all seriousness though, I really didn't pull anything out of the fridge before taking these pictures. Just some strategic re-positioning so that most things were visible. And, please send help. We are drowning in oranges. Not complaining, I just need some creative way to use them all up. Because there are more coming in February...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My day in food

Today was one of those where you glance down at the bottom right corner of your screen and think, WTF? How did it get to be 7:53? P.M.

Seriously. The entire world decided to need my attention TODAY. I know, I'm very important.

How does any of this relate to my post? Not at all. But hey. It's my blog, and if I feel like venting, I'm gonna vent.

At any rate. I've been wanting to do one of those "day in food" type posts for awhile now. I see them on lots of other peoples blogs. And while I don't really feel like I need to keep myself "accountable" or have some AMAZING recipes and step-by-step instructions to share, I still thought it'd be fun. If you think so too, comment!

If not, I'll know by your radio silence that no one really cares how delicious tempeh can be or how fast soup can be made when you're famished after Spin.

Without futher adieu, breakfast!

(whole wheat english muffin, tofutti cream "cheese" mixed w/ cinnamon, raisins, walnuts, a side of protein-yogurt w/ half a banana, and my favorite Chai green tea)

Seriously, SO delicious. Sadly, the english muffin did not tide me over to lunch. Fail. I guess I need more volume in my breakfasts...


(enormous salad. I eat some variation of this basically EVERY day for lunch and it NEVER gets old. In the mix: spinach, baby lettuce, shredded cabbage, carrots, brocolli, roasted kabocha squash, sugar snap peas, fat free feta, and some homemade miso dressing. With more of the crack tea. Who needs coffee!?)

So. This tempeh. (The stuff that kinda-sorta looks like taco meat.) It is AMAZING. I wish I could take credit for the recipe. And I CAN! (At least, for the modifications I made to the original.) Go see Mama Pea for the real deal.

What did I change? Left out the agave & lime. Added 1/2 cup salsa and 1 tsp smoked paprika. I like to call this version: Enchilada Tempeh. Tastes like it was marinated in a bottle of enchilada sauce. Way, way healthier enchilada sauce. Seriously so good - even the husband likes it this way!

Moving right along. I had my (hopefully) last PT appointment this afternoon and a date with a Spin bike (and running buddy Laura) afterwards, so I knew I'd need a snack to tide me over:

(fat free ricotta, greek yogurt, protein powder, Libby's pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice, blitzed in the mini prep. like puddin'. and yes, I ate it out of the blender bowl. why dirty a dish?!)

I saved half of this for dessert and it is CALLING to me from the fridge right now!

When I finally made it home from Spin, I was exhausted. And NOT in the mood to 'cook' anything. Enter - lazy girl's soup for one (husband is working late...):

Start to finish this soup definately took less than 30 minutes. What's that? You'd like the recipe? Of course!

1/4 C french (green) lentils, dry
2 C vegetable stock
1/4 C quinoa, dry
1/4 onion, diced
3-4 small carrots, diced
s & p to taste

1. Throw lentils & stock into pot over medium heat.
2. While lentils simmer, dice onion & carrot, and saute in a spritz of olive oil over medium heat, just until soft, about 5 minutes.
3. Add onion & carrot mixture, quinoa, to lentils. Reduce heat to medium low.
4. Set timer for 20 minutes and hop in the shower.
5. Check soup after 20 minutes. If your lentils are tender and carrots are almost (but not quite) mush, it's done.

Yours might end up looking a little dry like mine (above). You may also be STARVING as it is now going on 8:15. (I'm just saying) If this happens, add more (cold) veggie stock and/or water. For the added benefit of having some broth, and, you know, not searing your tongue. Hello, blisters.

(much better with broth)

Also consumed but not pictured: A Siggis yogurt w/ blueberries & flax, about 87 cups of herbal tea, 1/2 a pack of Orbit peach gum.

So there you have it! A whole day in food.

Now where is that pumpkin yogurt and my book....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2011 - the year of the hamstring

So, first things first, a VERY belated happy new year to all my friends! (Well, all 9 of you who actually read this anyways...)

I'm almost embarassed that this post is so belated, but, uh, you see I was out of town last week, with not a second to spare for posting. And, I, uh, had a case of blogger's block.

Ok, ok. The REAL reason for the delay is that I hadn't really come up with any blog-worthy New Year's Resolutions to post.

I know, I know. I don't HAVE to post a resolution. And I have plenty of smaller and more personal resolutions that I'm not sharing. But, I really did want to have SOMETHING to be held accountable to this year.

Well, this morning, I finally figured it out.

Friends - welcome to the year of the hamstring.

I went back to yoga this morning. For the first time in nearly a month. And you know what? It Sucked (with a capital-S). It was hard. I couldn't even touch the floor in forward fold. I needed a block. I felt like a January Joiner. (Not that there's ANYTHING wrong with that, go JJ'S!! But when you've been practicing yoga for 8 years, you'd kind of like to get some street cred for that, you know?)

And that led me to think, "WTF is going ON with my hamstrings!? When did they get so TIGHT!"

And THAT led me to think, "I should be practicing yoga more often".

When I got home, I sat and thought on this one for awhile. And friends, I have a confession to make.

(I don't really like yoga.)

Yoga is my spinach. It's that thing you do because everyone tells you how good it is for you, and you know you're supposed to do it. But, if I'm really honest, yoga just doesn't do it for me. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I dislike it, I just don't get excited for it the way I do other activities.

Take running. LOVE. LOOOOOOOOOOVE. Not enough "o's" in the world to express the looove. Spinning? Adore it. Everytime a great song comes on the radio, my first thought is, "This would be SO FUN to Spin to." Seriously. Not dance to. Spin to. Pilates? Love it so much I wish I could afford to go every day. Alas, the Super Lotto has not come through for us just yet...

But seriously, back to the topic at hand. I just don't GET that blissed-out, zen, bendy, clean, amazing feel that I think I am SUPPOSED to get from yoga. And I think I know why. I's my attitude towards it.

You see, I'm not good at yoga. And, as a general rule, I don't like things I'm not good at. (Yes, I too have character flaws.) In the spirit of full disclosure though, it's kind of my own damn fault that I'm no good at yoga. Since I don't like it, I don't TRY that hard to improve.

And that brings me back to the title of the post. My goal is to IMPROVE at yoga this year. I plan to measure it by how much flexibility I can gain, and how I feel towards my practice. Here's how I plan to accomplish my goal. By:

1. Going to classes consistently. Like it or not, I just have to accept that flexibility is clearly something my body needs more of, and yoga is the path to get there.
2. Pushing myself a little harder. Feeling comfortable in that child's pose? I don't think so. I make too many excuses for myself during class (ahem, who's that sneaking out to the bathroom whenever an inversion is coming up? Yeah, that's me. Oh, the shame.)
3. Being more fearless. (Goes hand in hand with #2 - there is a good reason I sneak out during inversions, I'm afraid of falling over!)
4. Doing the poses that are hard for ME daily. This would include all manner of hamstring stretches, Pigeon, Squats, that god-awful foot stretching one, and chest openers. Sadly, I tend to back away from doing the hard stuff when I practice on my own.
5. Practice somewhere relaxing. I love the studio in my gym. But for those short practices at home, I'm thinking I might head out here:

(weather permitting, of course)

I really hope this works. There was a point in my past where at least I used to LIKE yoga. And even if I don't ever fall in LOVE, hopefully I can at least get back to liking it.

If I can learn to love spinach, I'm pretty sure I can learn to love yoga too.