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Typical Day of Eats

I’m going to start posting more of my eats on the blog this year and I wanted to start off with what a typical day looks like.  This way if I say, “Standard breakfast and lunch”, you know what that means and won’t get bored seeing those same things over and over again.

Dinners are more varied, more fun (for me anyway), and our biggest meal of the day.

Breakfast:

greek yogurt, granola, banana

2% Greek yogurt with homemade granola and sliced banana with a little sprinkle of unsweetened coconut chips. Coffee with almond milk on the side.  Not a huge breakfast but the fat in the yogurt helps keep me full and satisfied.  I also add eggs to the granola mix when I make for added protein.  Right now the granola is just toasted and spiced oatmeal.  If you like, you can always add nuts, dried fruit, and heck even chocolate chips if you want.

Lunch:

Salad and smoothie

Salad with small amount of protein (2-3oz) and a smoothie.  The protein in the salads vary from hard boiled eggs, to salmon, to leftover chicken.  Sometimes even beans. Depends on what I feel like that day and what I have on hand that is the easiest to grab.

The protein helps me feel way more satisfied and it also means that I don’t need a salad the size of my head to be full.

Smoothie is pretty typical:

  • 2.5 C water
  • Big bunch of greens (Either spinach, kale, or chard)
  • 1.5 Frozen bananas
  • 1/2-1C Frozen fruit (blueberries, mango, peaches)
  • 1tsp Coconut Oil

Sometimes I sub in 1C almond milk but not very often.  I don’t count calories really but I try to be mindful of them. Since I have almond milk in my morning coffee, I don’t really need it in the smoothie.

The coconut oil helps provide much needed fat.  Most vitamins and minerals in fruits and veggies are fat soluble, which means our bodies can’t break them down and absorb them properly unless they are paired with a fat.  Coconut oil does the trick!

This amount makes two smoothies, one me and one for Scott.

Dinner:

Mahi mahi tacos

(Horrible picture I know, but until I figure out a solution to take night pictures, this is the best it gets.)

Mahi Mahi tacos, rice, and some green beans.  I would have had some avocado for the mahi mahi but I was out! Darn it!  I made extra portions of fish so there would be enough for leftovers the following day.

Some dinners are a little bigger but most times it’s a protein with some veggies and occasionally starch.  Dinner is my favorite meal of the day because I like spending the time in the evenings to prepare it.  It’s my relaxing down time.

There’s a saying that goes, you should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.

That doesn’t really work for me.   A smaller breakfast and lunch followed by a larger dinner is what makes me feel the best.  Occasionally I’ll have an egg and some fruit for breakfast if I’m feeling a little more hungry in the morning or if I really don’t feel like yogurt.  I still keep the portions small, one egg with fruit and maybe an English muffin, this way I will still be hungry for lunch.

A larger breakfast, say eggs with bacon, toast, and potatoes keeps me full for a very long time so I typically keep that style of breakfast to the weekend.  Since it keeps me full for a while it usually results in me skipping lunch altogether and going right into dinner.  This is OK sometimes but not all the time. I really enjoy eating lunch and having that afternoon salad.

I’m also not much of a snacker.  Three full meals a day suits me just fine.  I don’t need snacks to help me get from one meal to the next.  As much as I enjoy food and eating, I don’t like eating all time and snacks make me feel that way. Like I’m just constantly eating.

Routine works for me and I don’t get bored with my breakfasts or lunch.  Plus it makes meal prep during the week a heck of a lot easier!  If I’m always having the same thing for 2 out of 3 meals, then I can focus more on dinner and planning that for the week.

Again, I’m in no way suggesting that everyone try this because what works for one person probably isn’t going to work for someone else.  We all have different tastes and different needs.

The goal is to pay attention to the meals we eat and how they make us feel.  Do we feel energized and satisfied or do we feel sleepy and blah?  Do we have energy the next day for work and working out or are we dragging our butts?  Once we figure out what makes us feel amazing it’s a lot easier to keep doing that!

 

 

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Coffee and Almond Milk

 

Almond Milk and CoffeeGiving up milk in my morning coffee left me sad.  I like my morning coffee to be creamy with a little sweetness.  I don’t add sugar to coffee but was able to get that sweetness from the milk.  Taking that away meant that I needed a substitute and the search for something suitable took me months.

I tried everything and was coming up short.

I tried bulletproof coffee and I tried coffee with just a little bit of coconut oil and a dash of coconut sugar.  All of this was fine but it wasn’t good.  I wanted good.

Morning coffee is one of my favorite routines and eases me into the day.  I’m not dependent on coffee and I don’t have withdrawals when I go without.  I really just enjoy the whole process of it.  Grinding the beans, that first smell of brewed coffee, and making a cup to take to my desk.

I love this whole thing about mornings.

So when looking for a replacement to milk, I didn’t want coffee to become this process and something that isn’t sustainable.

With bulletproof or coconut oil coffee, the blender was needed which meant another thing was dirty and needed washed.  Plus, how would I make this while traveling?  Too much of a process and not sustainable.

I started testing out non-dairy milks.  Most of the almond milks I tried ended up having a weird taste in coffee. Coconut milk from the dairy aisle tasted like a mess of chemicals.  None of those played well in coffee, the milk sank, separated, and never mixed unless I used the blender.   Vanilla almond milk + a pat of butter in the blender tasted like a latte but that became a whole process and I’m not looking for added fat in my coffee.  That might be a nice special treat but not daily.

Canned full fat coconut milk was awesome but not cost effective.  Even the cheapest can is $0.99 and that only lasts for about a day.

Finally, FINALLY, I found a good solution.  Califia Farms makes almond milk that plays nicely with coffee and you don’t have to bust out a blender either.

It is a little bit more pricy but worth it.  Their flavored milks have very little sugar which is nice especially if you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake.  I prefer the vanilla almond milk but have also used the toasted coconut as well and they both work well to make tasty coffee.

Yes there is an adjustment period going from milk to almond milk, but it doesn’t last long.  I heat the almond milk up slightly (don’t take it past a simmer or it starts to break down) and then pour the coffee right on top.  They blend together and I’m back to having creamy slightly sweet coffee in the mornings.

Not a big process since the blender is no longer needed.  Also sustainable because most coffee houses offer almond milk as an alternative to cream.

Does it taste like real milk? No, that’s why there is an adjustment period.

I can only find this brand at my local Whole Foods but since it brought back the joy of morning coffee, it’s worth it.

If you’re wondering, Scott is able to handle milk just fine so he uses 100% grass-fed milk in his coffee.  I also can only find that at Whole Foods.

It did take several months for me to find a good replacement but now I’m back to being a happy girl with her morning cup of coffee!

 

Disclaimer: This is NOT an ad for Califia Farms, they don’t even know I exist.  I really enjoy their almond milk and am sharing that with you.

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Putting Milk Aside

 

Fresh Milk When we first moved to Colorado we started using milk in our coffee.  It was so easy and convenient because it was delivered right to our door each week.  The milk we got delivered wasn’t too bad, not fully pastured but I believed it to be pretty close and it was local.  I assumed this had to be better for us than the soy milk we were previously using for coffee and cooking.

As much as I enjoyed the milk, it didn’t love me apparently.  I started having digestive issues.  I didn’t equate it to the milk until two years later.  Yeah that’s a long time but I didn’t have any of the typical symptoms of someone who can’t tolerate milk.

There was no bloating (that I noticed at the time), no gas, stomach pains or cramps.  Nothing like that.  But it was clear that my digestion was way off and not where it should be.

Then I started not being able to tolerate other foods that I loved, like seeds and nuts.  Anytime I had those, I was immediately running to the bathroom.

That was my wake-up call.  Something isn’t right and I need to do something about it.  I decided to cut out milk as that made the most sense since that was the only big dietary change I’d made in the last two years.

Scott and I used to drink milk all the time until we learned that conventional milk at the store is horrible, so we gave it up cold turkey and went straight to soy milk.

Until this move, we hadn’t had milk consistently in coffee for over 10 years (only on the rare occasion when out for breakfast).  That’s a long time.  Not that we gave up dairy completely we just weren’t consuming straight up milk any longer.  Diving headfirst back in to milk consumption, I think it was too much of a shock to my system.

I gave it up for a couple of weeks and then tried to reintroduce it back in.  That didn’t go over so well so I decided to cut it out completely.

I have learned that I do not process large amounts of dairy very well.  I overlooked my symptoms because they weren’t the “standard issue” that you typically hear about with milk intolerance. These were the symptoms I suffered from:

  • Nagging blemishes on my chin that wouldn’t go away.
  • Bad digestion and needing to use the restroom multiple times a day.
  • Hair loss, I was pulling hair out by the handful whenever I washed my hair.
  • Constant bloated stomach.

Once I eliminated milk all of those things went away.  I didn’t even realize I had a bloated stomach until I cut out milk!  A week of no dairy and my stomach didn’t feel “as big” as it used to.  The hair loss surprised me the most. I was shocked to find it was related.  This whole process was very eye opening.

I do not have to eliminate all dairy.  I can handle yogurt just fine.  I can also do butter and cheese in small amounts. The main issue was straight up whole milk in my morning coffee every day multiple times a day.  It was just too much for my system to handle and my body couldn’t process it at all.

I’m currently working on repairing and restoring my digestive tract.  It was mistreated for two years so it’s taking some time to get it back to normal.  At this point I’m able to handle small amounts of seeds again in salads and I can also handle almond milk and almond butter.  I have a little ways to go before I can do whole nuts again.

But this left me lacking something for my morning coffee!  I’ll be chatting about making the switch to almond milk later this week.

 

 

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2015 Phrase For The Year

Asian Noodle Bowl

Welcome to a brand new year!  When I think of new beginnings, regrouping, and cleaning up, I always equate that to Pho or some sort of Asian noodle soup.  It’s full of simple ingredients that leaves you feeling satisfied.  That’s how goals should be; simple and with a sense of accomplishment. At the end of the year when you look back and reflect, life should leave you feeling satisfied.

What? I’m a food blogger, of course I’m going to relate stuff to food!

2015 is upon us and that means it’s time for goal setting and planning out the year.  For us, this is the year of changes and getting shit done.

A few years ago I stumbled across the concept of picking a word to represent a new year.  The idea is that you pick a word at the start of a new year and use that word for guidance and motivation through the year.  It’s been several years since I’ve done this because for the past two years I’ve been feeling very blah and unmotivated in life.

This year is different.  I’m done feeling blah and unmotivated.  Honestly, I’m OVER IT.

I am determined to make 2015 amazing and I’m not going to let anything, including myself, get in the way of that.

There are several things that I am looking to accomplish this year.

Meal planning and prepping.  Both Scott and I feel our best when we eat home cooked meals full of nourishing real foods.  Sure there will be the occasional meal out but we are looking to keep that very limited.

Getting back into a workout routine.  We’ve already started Insanity MAX:30 and at the end of this week, Scott and I will have completed month 1!  Working out became nonexistent after moving here.  Lots of reasons and lots of excuses but again, I’m OVER IT.  No more, working out is going to become a part of our lives again.

Cleaning up and organizing our house.  We are coming up on our second year in this house and it’s time to make it ours.  When we moved in, we were so exhausted from moving twice in two years that we just dumped everything in this house and have been living in a a sort of quiet chaos.  It’s time to paint rooms, clean up,  and get started on making this house exactly how we want it.

Because Scott and I have all these plans, we keep referring to 2015 as The Year of Doing.  So instead of picking a word for the year I picked a phrase.

DO IT.

Or as Scott says,

There’s Nothing To It, Just Do It.

Yup.

This applies to everything from working out to organizing the basement.  Whenever I start procrastinating or dread getting started on a project, I’m going to go back to this phrase.  I’m just going to do it.

No excuses and no complaining.  Well maybe there will be a little complaining, let’s be realistic here.

I’ve already started meal planning and prepping for this week.  I’ve knocked a few things off my to-do list and I’m ready to jump into 2015 both feet first and make it awesome.

How about you? What are your goals for this year?

 

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Pomegranate Bourbon Highball

Pomegranate Bourbon Highball

The last in the pomegranate juice drink series and it happens to be my favorite of the batch because it features bourbon!  This is the drink that started us on our journey to experiment with pomegranate juice cocktails.  Thanksgiving day we were sipping on juice and seltzer when we got curious and added a little bourbon to the mix. It was delicious! I played around with the ingredients a bit to make it a little more festive.

This cocktail uses the least ingredients and comes together really quickly.

Andrea’s Pomegranate Bourbon Highball

  • 1/3C Pomegranate Juice
  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 2 Dashes Whiskey Bitters
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • Few cubes of ice
  • 8 oz Seltzer

Place all ingredients into a shaker except for the seltzer.  Shake for a minute and pour into a large glass.  Top with seltzer, stir and enjoy!

Your guests will love all of these festive drinks for the holiday season!  Or make one for yourself, kickback on the couch and watch your favorite holiday movie!

Don’t forget to check out PomBerry Martini and Pomegranate Margarita.

Happy Holidays!