Thursday, September 30, 2010

Don't Stress, Just Accept

If you haven't noticed I took a little break from blogging, why? Because I felt a little bit like a phony this week. This blog is all about living a healthy life that is also healthy for the environment. This week I have not been good to my body, or the environment. Let me sum up my week for you:

-SICK = lots of Nyquil + Sudafed (I usually don't take medications...I hate them)
-Family Member had surgery :(
-I spent far too much on groceries and bought lots of packaged goods. (See picture below of single serving yogurt on top of packaged wraps...)

-These groceries didn't stop me from buying pre-packaged food on the go...expensive, bad for me and the environment.
-I have not been composting.
-I have not been a fashionista...sweats all the way.
-Exercise? What's that?
-Started drinking coffee again.
-I suffered a flesh wound from the oven while making squash.

-My ceramic sculpture collapsed in on was about 75 pounds of collapse
-I was lazy...example slept in until 10 am the other day, and then rushed to class late.

While feeling like I was a failure I came across this quote in my planner

"You can do anything, but not everything" -David Allen

It made me feel a lot better about my week. It was stressful. Just making it to classes was a challenge, let alone trying to do homework with a pounding sinus headache and running nose.

Then I realized I was being overly dramatic and down on myself. For one thing my breakfasts still managed to look mostly like this:

Tropical Oats!

In The Mix:
-1/2 cup oats
-1/2 cup Mango Yogurt
-Shredded Coconut

A really nice change! I ate mainly a large bowl of fruits with yogurt for breakfast this week- definitely helped me get over my cold!

I also realized that while it was stressful to have a sick family member having a rough recovery, they weren't ever in danger of dying. They are fine. I should stop whining because I'M not the one who had surgery!

As for groceries it happens to the best of us. The grocery store is just one big advertisement so sometimes overspending happens. Also I need to eat, so it is a necessary expense. Same with on the go food, eventually I will figure out my schedule and be able to resist/plan ahead better.

Wearing sweats is acceptable when you look disgusting anyways because your nose is constantly running. Besides whats the point of putting on a cute outfit on when it'll just get covered in charcoal in drawing class?

My exercise routine was not fun, I just quit running because of over training. So maybe I needed a break? It's not good to work out when your sick anyways. I will try harder next week.

College = coffee. One cup a day will not kill me, I still drink tea anyways. I don't have to be perfect and only drink health drinks!

And as for the rest of my problems (collapsed ceramic piece, flesh wound, and laziness) these things happen. Nothing you can do but deal. I am not a bad artist because a piece got ruined. I am not a bad cook because I have a burn gouge on my arm. I am not a bad person because I slept in. 10 am is not THAT late, and I was sick!

While it was great that I found a way to rationalize all of my bad choices this week, I still realized that this is not the way I want to live life. I feel icky from treating my body poorly this week, I would rather feel great! So I started to get back in the swing of things today. I made THE BEST salad ever. (Possibly because I have every ingredient in the world in my fridge right now from overspending at the grocery store?)

This was basically a cabinet salad with some amazing curried tofu!

In the Salad:

-Romaine Lettuce
-Red Pepper

Easy Curried Tofu

-One package extra-firm tofu
-2 tbsp Olive Oil
-2 cloves garlic chopped
~1/2 tsp Curry Powder
~1/2 tsp Tamarind

Heat olive oil in skillet with chopped garlic cloves. Press tofu between paper towels and chop into 1/2 inch cubes. Add tofu to skillet. Sprinkle a layer of both curry powder and tamarind over the tofu. (Just shake the spice out of the container so that each piece of tofu has some spice on it) Let tofu cook until browned or crispy on one side. Flip all pieces of tofu. Cook tofu until it is crispy on the other side. Remove from heat and enjoy over a salad, brown rice, or just plain!

Sooooooooo good. I am loving these Indian flavors lately :)

Enjoyed sitting in front of my wilting fall display...I may have to make another! Or maybe a Halloween display?

This salad was amazing and it was the perfect thing to get me back into my healthy eating routine. It made me remember that healthy eating does not take that much more effort than eating Kashi cereal out of the box, and it makes me feel so. much. better.

Lesson learned from a stressful week? Stress happens. It does mean I am a failure at life because I grabbed some full-fat corn syrup sweetened yogurt on the go, at least it wasn't a cheddar dog with a side of skittles! Some weeks we struggle just to get by. If we didn't have bad weeks how would we know when we're having amazing on-top-of-the-world weeks? Besides this week isn't even over yet, I still have time to make is a grrrreat success. So here's to doing my best, and hoping next week is a complete 180 degree shift from this week.

Hope your week was better than mine :)

What kind of week did you have? Do you ever have weeks like mine?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tuna Time

I felt AWFUL this morning. I didn't want to eat anything for fear of it coming right back up. But as usual...I had one craving. Good thing I went WAY WAY WAY overboard at the co-op yesterday so I had ingredients and toppings galore to cure my craving.

So what was I craving?


But first...

Dear roommates, how does this happen?


Snack snack snack snack mmmm haven't had pickles forever so tasty.

Ok so I gathered the ingredients.

Then struggled to get the top off this veganaise while I struggled I noticed it was made with green energy. Yay! Even though it is plastic...which come from still a fail.

I had to try a lil bit to make sure it isn't disgusting. It's not! Do you like that the first time I'm trying veganaise is with a non-vegan/vegetarian meal? Haaaa...

Sliced up secret ingredient #1.

And sprinkled on some of secret ingredient #2.

Tuna For One


-1 can of tuna
-1 tbsp veganaise (or mayonnaise)
-6-8 green olives
-1/4 tsp Tumeric
-1/4 tsp pepper

Drain the tuna. Slice the olives. Mix all ingredients together. Done!

Ok I know green olives sounds weird but they are seriously THE BEST part of tuna salad. I have grown up with this and I love love it. I added the Tumeric on a whim since I picked it up yesterday at the co-op. Umm delicious.

Freshman year in the dorm cafeteria I wished for tuna salad wraps to be the specialty sandwich everyday. Obsessed.

Don't forget the toppings!

I topped mine with tomato...

My wrap got stuck to all the other made for a messy lunch.

My sprouts! All sprouted and ready to eat.

Veggies on the side with hummus yummmer.

I'm all ready for Halloween :)

So you're probably wondering what's up with the tuna? Yes it is true I decided to try being vegetarian and I love it! I don't plan on switching back. But I don't really like the idea of restricting my diet so harshly. Yes I eat a mostly vegan diet, mainly because it's easy, cheap, and healthy. Yet, I would call myself a flexitarian rather than a strict vegetarian or vegan. If I'm at a friends house and there is only food there with meat in it- I'll eat the meat. When I go home and my Dad cooks me a big juicy steak. You better believe I'll eat it!

For me it's all about balance. I don't eat animals usually because of the benefits and I just plain heard too many horror stories of the meat industry. I don't believe I need to be a strict vegetarian- that's just stressful! Every now and again I crave meat and will want to eat I will. This is what works for me :)

Do you stick to a strict diet?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fresh Green Dinner

I was craving veggies this morning so for dinner I made it happen.


Zuchinni + cherry tomatoes + black bean cocoa quinoa + avocado + lentil sprouts + basil,garlic,tomato hummus= perfection.

Just for fun I made a collage :)

Kale chips and steamed broccoli (there were some green beans hiding underneath there too). Moral of the story? KALE CHIPS ARE AMAZING! Thank youuuuu so much KERF for the inspiration. I think I may eat these for the rest of my life.

I WAY overspent at the co-op (always happens when I go to grocery store with the BF, no idea why! I think he just loves to encourage me to eat :) what a great BF) but this amazing dinner made it all worth it.

I'm off to cut up some cantaloupe yummmm.

Digestive Distress

The roommates and I have been feeling a little under the weather lately.

Like this:

When we want to feel like this:

With new schedules the "best" food choices have not been chosen...such as one day this week I felt awful in the morning so I only ate an apple for breakfast. Well I didn't make it home again until 3 pm. Ouch. Then I gorged myself on the entire contents of my cabinet and my hangry stomach ache became an overstuffed stomach ache.

I also realized that since I started blogging I have been eating a lot of different foods and trying out tons of new recipes. Umm a lot of bready and heavier (than I'm used too) recipes. I have forgotten to keep eating the foods that I know make me feel good! Mainly mega salads, mega veggie and fruit snack plates, and plain old steamed veggies. All the fiber in fresh fruits and veggies really helps keep your stomach moving along and feeling grrrreat. I realized I really miss these lighter meals! (my healified Mashed Potatoes and Hot Cocoa really did the trick I guess to cure my comfort food cravings)

Back to this I go!

This week I think I'm going to give myself a break from baking, or even intense cooking. I'm headed to the co-op today to stock up on a variety of fruit and veggies. Never fear there will be some new stuff to review, you won't only see plain steamed broccoli for the next seven days ;)

But if your like me and you want to feel good RIGHT NOW here are some great drinks to mix up to soothe your digestive distress. I always start with some cups of green tea but if you need a little extra help these are some great recipes. Better yet most of the ingredients will already be in your cupboard, so you can stay at home in bed rather than running to the pharmacy for some Pepto!

Get Rid Of Gas
-tsp olive oil
Drink on an empty stomach every morning.

Ease A Tummy Ache
-1/2 -1 tsp baking soda
-4 ounces water

(this one works like a charm, you will immediately burp and feel tons better. Don't worry about the exact ratio of baking soda to water, I usually just dump in the baking soda to any glass of water and it works great.)

Beat the Bloat

-1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
-1 cup hot water

Cure Constipation

Always keep some of this on hand...'nuff said.


2x daily
-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
-8 ounce glass of water

Avoid Heartburn
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-pinch of salt
-8 oz glass of water

(never tried the last two, if you do let me know if they work!)

Soothe your tum tum in general
-1 tsp of honey
(works to soothe heartburn or an icky feeling stomach)

Last but certainly not least...

My favorite Pick-Me-Up (the Tarahumara way)
-1 tbsp chia seeds
-2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
-8 ounces water
I love the gel texture the seeds get in the water! This always makes me feel better (and by always I mean it has the 2 or 3 times I have drank it in the past couple weeks since buying chia seeds). Be warned though some people equate this to drinking snot!

I'm feeling much better already :)

As always though the best treatment is prevention. Eat your fruits and veggies and drink at least eight, eight ounce glasses of water a day. Oh and if your a hypochondriac like me you'll probably wonder if you have a bladder problem because you're running to the bathroom too much. Read this you're fine. You probably feel like you're going too often when you compare to others. Most people are severely dehydrated, just another example of why comparing is a horrible choice.

Drink up and enjoy your Saturday stomach-ache free!

Do you have any old "wives tales" remedies that really work?

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's Still Fall...I'm Still Obsessed

If you remember(or even read my post) this morning I made this:

I stuck a bunch of leaves I picked up on my walk in an old Black Strap Molasses jar. How low impact of me :)

I don't discriminate against leaves, I picked up bumpy ones, mutant ones, dried up dead ones, and lots of gorgeous fall colored ones.

I thought I was done obsessing on everything Fall for the day...but the obsession managed to continue. I brought my camera to class with me today so I could snap some pictures of the clay pieces I'm working on. Just in case they blow up in the kiln I want to remember how nice they looked. Here's a sneak peak of one...

Oh and you only see this in an art building- art vending machine! Looove it.

While I was walking back from a very frustrating 2 hours at the studio I managed to forget my stress and enjoy my campus. I mean, come on, how many people get to enjoy stone carvings like this on a daily basis?

To add to the Fall charm of a classic college campus the clock struck three while I was snapping photos. The bells chimed away, the fall breeze nipped at my trigger happy fingers, and the leaves rustled. Seriously, this campus is straight out of a movie.

It comes with great architecture and stunning fall displays of color.

It encourages bike riding...

(Do any of you live in big cities who have started bike rental programs? Although I think there are a few problems with these bikes (the atrocious design being the main one) I think its really cool that Minneapolis started this program! Definitely a step in the right direction, that is away from fossil fuel!)

It has traditions that everyone has forgotten how they started, or what they stand for anymore...but they partake in anyways.

Events that are said to be the reason why shoes are thrown in the tree:
1. First F on a college test
2. First A on a college test
3. When you lose your v-card
4. When you graduate
5. The actual reason- because it's cool to say you did it for some monumental reason or another.

Lovely overcast views...

Vines growing like crazy for that Ivy League charm...without the price tag.

Massive old trees to prove how old this place really is...history has been (and is) being made here, right?

Yes, yes, my campus is great but of course I got sucked back into taking FALL pictures. Just another asset to my campus, it has trees engineered for fall. In the "Mall" area of campus the trees turn maroon and gold in the Fall. Really. What more could a Fall obsessed girl ask for?

I decided to take some pictures of leaves in their natural habitat...

While distracted by my photo adventures the "lovely fall breeze" turned in "that awful Minnesota wind". Please don't tell me fall is fading and winter is on the horizon already! I am NOT a winter obsessed girl! Especially Minnesnowta winters (the snow in that Minnesota being said should be replaced with freezing sleet that turns the world into an ice rink and makes it impossible to walk to class or drive anywhere...but that's not quite as cute...)

Here's some proof of that wind!

When I finally decided I had had enough of stopping to take pictures every 2 seconds (yeah I was that spacey girl that you think is bizarre as she wanders around with a Nikon and then randomly crouches on the soggy ground to get a picture of a dirty leaf) I realized how cold it was!

I rushed home and warmed up some Healthy Dairy-Free Garlic Mashed Potato Leftovers. Still delish. But they didn't warm me up I mindlessly munched on some nuts.

Ok so I snacked on ALOT of nuts...and raisins...and PB and celery...and then some more dried fruit. Come on, everything was just so unsatisfying! What I really needed was my Mom to tell me to stop being a little food diva and just deal with a little unsatisfaction...but instead I snacked viciously and came up with an evil plan. I realized I needed to healthify another comfort food before I ate all the snacks in my cupboard. So I took a little of this...

Dumped it in my new favorite mug. (I got it at Savers for $1.99!)

Tossed in some sweetness...

And came up with this:

Energy Boost Hot Cocoa


-1 cup strong Coffee
-1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
-1-2 tsp Brown Sugar
-Sprinkles of Nutmeg and Cinnamn
-Dash of Salt

Mix all ingredients together. Taste test. See if you want a little more of anything!

Sooo I bet I know what your thinking...EWWW why is there salt in this recipe?? That makes no sense! Ok I know, I was skeptical as well, but seriously the salt brings out the flavor of the cocoa. I wish I could say I came up with this on my own...but no. Guess where I got the idea? Modern Family. The t.v. show of all places! On the show they added to chocolate milk...but I figured it would apply to all types of chocolate. And boyyy was I right.

Can you sense how thick, creamy, and satisfying this Hot Cocoa was??

Calorie count = 40 calories!

Ahhhhmazing, I will be making this all winter long, I gotta have something to look forward to during finals week!

I will be sure to always keep these ingredients on hand :)

My healthified energizing hot cocoa was enjoyed next to a beautiful fall display that was not at all disturbed by the raging Minnesnowta winds outside...what can I say? Oh yeah, perfection.

Do you have any crazy secret ingredients that turn a good recipe into a great recipe?