Granola Bender

I think I’ve written before about how I’ll eat the same thing on repeat throughout any given week.  When you’re usually shopping for one its just easier to buy ingredients for one or two big meals and then portion it out throughout the week.

One way I keep myself from really hating this plan of action it by switching up toppings or add-ins.  If you’re eating chili every day, have it with diced avocado two days, cheese two days.  It keeps things interesting [or I just have a very low bar set for what is interesting]

This week, I invested in a box of “Just Clusters” granola from Trader Joes, I think its vanilla almond but I’m too lazy to go check.  To go with that, I bought a carton of unsweetened, vanilla almond milk, a container of blackberries, and a container of pomegranate seeds.  I like to go for a healthy combination of good for me and easy to eat; on Sundays I grocery shop and on Monday’s everything gets packed up, driven three hours to the office for consumption during the week.  The glamour of a long distance relationship!

One day I had the granola with almond milk, blackberries, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder mixed in.

064

Another day, granola + almond milk + pomegranate seeds + cinnamon.

001

Most recently, granola + raw, roasted almonds + blackberries

005

I know, I lead a pretty exciting life filled with granola and desk lunches.  You have to find what works for you in terms of convenience, access, health, taste.  Its Friday, so I’m already thinking about what I’ll cook up this weekend for next week’s lunches.  Suggestions appreciated!

Worthy Weekend

Some weekends are spent with a jam packed itinerary of events; some are lazy.  And some are filled with unplanned adventure, which is usually the best.

After running some quick errands Saturday morning, we were both a little hungry but not starving.  We wanted to grab something at the Honest Weight Food CoOp since we were in that neighborhood, but then just as we were driving there I remembered reading about Chester’s Smokehouse, which is just down the road.

Chester's Smokehouse

Chester’s Smokehouse

We were a bit awestruck at first.  Is that the right word? We sort of stared at everything, unable to formulate a plan at all. Mister and I eventually decided to split a smoked turkey sandwich, with bacon of course, on rye bread.  We also picked up two bags of their own jerkey ($5/bag), a hunk of in house smoked sharp cheddar ($2.50), and a quarter of a pound of bacon (equaled five slices) for Sunday breakfast.

We took the sandwich to Washington Park, and enjoyed a chilly (but dog free) moment of fall sunshine.

Chester's Smokehouse

Chester’s Smokehouse

They do not mess around with wimpy sandwiches.  When we unwrapped this mountainous sandwich, Mister and I were both surprised by how much turkey there was.  This is half of the sandwich, the smaller half I might add, and my tiny hand is stretched to the max trying to hold it all.

While they weren’t stingy with the turkey, it was on the bland side so there wasn’t anything magnificent about it.  It wasn’t bad, but between the turkey and the lettuce, I felt like all the flavor was being sucked out of the rest of the ingredients.  The bacon was crispy, burnt greatness; combined with a little horseradish dressing it was the better part of the sandwich for sure.  If nothing else, I’m intrigued to try out their other offerings.

After this “snack,” we were hungry for an early dinner, and decided to head up to Ala Shanghai.  Since we were there at around early-bird special hour, the place was nearly empty and we were in and out much faster than we anticipated.  Maybe because it was Halloween night and everyone was out doing more interesting things?

Pork Soup Dumplings & Scallion Pancake

Pork Soup Dumplings & Scallion Pancake

Scallion Beef, House Half Duck, Chicken Lo Mein

Scallion Beef, House Half Duck, Chicken Lo Mein

I wasn’t a huge fan of the duck (there was no part that was crispy, and no sauce or seasoning; maybe I just ordered wrong)  The lo mien was pretty standard takeout fare, but the beef was really great.  There were leftovers of course, but that’s usually the best part.

As if we weren’t gluttonous enough that day, we stopped at Bella Napoli on the way home.

Requisite Bella Napoli

Requisite Bella Napoli

Mister got his standard cannoli, we got a piece of peanut butter cheesecake to share, and a black and white (half moon) cookie for Sunday.  How have I never had their cheesecake before? It was so incredibly creamy, I could have easily eaten the whole piece myself.

Sunday morning we shared chocolate chip pancakes, scrambled eggs, and the Chester’s bacon.  The bacon was really good, and it cooked much faster than store bought bacon.  Is this a chemical preservative type thing thats missing from their bacon…or is it just a weird thing that happened? [If it matters at all, I normally cook bacon on a tinfoil lined sheet pan in the oven.]

After all of that food and eating, we ventured out to the Indian Ladder Trail at Thacher Park.  This is my favorite time of year to do this trail, its not as crowded, the weather is just cool enough, and the views are amazing.

037

Burned My Routine

I know I’m being ambitious after my six month hiatus, but yea two posts in two days.  Its happening.

My last post I talked about how my routine makes me feel settled, it makes me feel at home even when I’m sort of drifting between houses, apartments, and cities on a weekly basis.  Unfortunately, my routine went way out the window this week.

Meatball makin....pre disaster.

Meatball makin….pre disaster.

It all started with some meal prep.  (* side note, when did “meal prep” become part of our healthy eating lexicon?) So yea, Mister and I cooked up a giant batch of meatballs so he would have lunch throughout the week and we could freeze/reheat some for later Fridays when I don’t always feel like cooking.

We made meatballs, they were okay.  I wish they had more of a crunchy crust outside; but I’ll work on that for next time.  The real problem came when I started cleaning up after dinner; somehow, the pasta water ended up on my legs and left a pretty hefty blistering burn.

Water won this round

Water won this round

Yup, don’t mess with water folks. I’ve got bandages galore, and I’m diligently following doctor’s orders.  Unfortunately, this means no gym until the wound is more healed.  No gym, no running; I’m not even sure pants will happen this week.

Cup half full:  that means I’ve got extra time to spend with my mom during this week. Silver lining in everything, you just have to look for it.

Instead of rushing to a Crossfit class, or getting to bed extra early for a 5am gym session, I cooked dinner with Mom, enjoyed a glass of wine, and together we investigated the contents of some bins in the basement for a Halloween costume. (those pictures aren’t safe for the blog world, I’ve got a career to think about!)

Thai-inspired chicken curry

Thai-inspired chicken curry

That is one of the hugest differences between the Gorgeous Goodness of today and six months ago; finding the bright side.  Being in long distance with Mister is hard, but it also means every weekend is like a mini-vacation and we can’t fight about who takes out the garbage more.  Commuting into the city is hard, but its also an incentive to get up earlier and make it to the gym before the roads get congested. Sure I would love to live in my own apartment again, but this is a really great opportunity to spend more time with family.

You don’t have to look for the positive, but it makes life a lot more enjoyable.

Habits

The more I cook, the more I want to cook.

The less I cook, the less I want to be bothered with big meals or complicated recipes.  I know I’ll enjoy it when I throw myself back into it, but for now I’ve fallen off the planning, prepping, preparing bandwagon of enjoying my meals.  There’s the new job, staying in someone else’s house, and the new routine; for right now, cooking just isn’t part of it.

The thing that gets me though, is I always got excited about meals I prepared.  When someone else is constantly cooking for you, or you eat out more often; food loses some of its appeal in a sense.  Lately I crave things like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, toast with a fried egg; things that are easy and basic.

Do you eat more when you cook for yourself?  Does cooking make you want to cook more?

Meals for 12.12.14

What do you actually eat everyday? I know we don’t have grandiose Pinterest worth meals every three hours 365 days a year. That’s not real life.

I watch what I eat, most of the time. I track my food in the App, MyFitnessPal; keeping tabs on carbs/fat/protein per day. Some weeks I’m great about planning ahead, others I just barely manage to fill my lunch bag with a haphazard collection of things in an attempt to meet my goals.

Today is one of those days. Sort of.
For breakfast all week we had those baked eggs. But Mister got the last portion packed for his breakfast. So I mixed some strawberry flavored protein powder with Greek yogurt and a splash of almond milk.

IMG_5585.JPG
I do some form of exercise daily. Sometimes it’s yoga and running, other days it’s weights at the gym. (Sadly, lately it’s been a lot of at home quick routines to avoid the snow and darkness. )The point is, I like to keep my protein high for building new muscle as part of my weight-loss and health goals. Everyone has different goals. I don’t recommend chugging protein if you’re hanging out on the couch all week.

About 2-3 hours after that mini meal, I’ll have a clementine with my morning coffee.

And just about 3 hours after that I’ll have lunch. Sometimes this is leftovers from dinner. Today is is a multigrain tortilla from Trader Joes filled with one slice of Swiss cheese, 3oz of low sodium turkey, and a handful of baby spinach. (I have a food scale)

My fourth mini meal of the day is half a cup of cottage cheese mixed with cinnamon, vanilla, and raisins.

IMG_5561.JPG

Yes I eat seriously unphotogenic meals. I know. But this mixture is so great in this weather, it’s texturally similar to rice pudding and the flavor profile is a nice break from plain dairy.

I brought a banana in case I feel hungry, or decide to run an errand right after work. And yes, I pack a ton of food for work most days. I like feeling prepared and I love being in the habit of five to six mini meals a day.

Dinner is undecided yet. It’s Friday so it might be a splurge in terms of calories and content, but not necessarily.

What do you eat every day, honestly?