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Archive for September, 2009

This morning there was not enough coffee in the world.  Sometimes late nights do that…

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Imagine this mug times 100.  Ok, 3.

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For breakfast, I practiced my vampire bite with various pieces of fruit.  Clearly I’m going through True Blood withdrawal…

I also had some Smart Balance-i-fied toast.  Had to finish up the Alvarado Street loaf to make way for my new Nature’s Pride loaves.

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(Fangs marks not included)

As usual, on my day off I worked on re-stocking the kitchen/fridge for my work days.  This included making: quinoa, chickpeas, black beans, steamed veggies in bulk (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), and chopping veggies for easy salad construction.

As a result, by the time lunch rolled around, my creative juices were dried up and my inner chef just wanted a break.  Sometimes laziness can result in greatness…

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WF vegan “chicken” salad + a fistful of spinach = YUM

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The best part about this was the extra creamy mayonnaise-y sauce in the chicken salad coated the lettuce so I didn’t need any dressing.  Full flavor maximized while each bite was saturated with yummy flavor flaaaaave!!

Lunch dessert?  Obvi.

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I had been wanting to eat cantaloupe with something in the middle for SO long (I just think it looks fun and pretty), and at long last I finally remembered!  It was everything I hoped it would be and more – haha.  I’m such a dork.  I washed it all down with a massive mug of Tazo chai tea (and the latest Rachel Zoe Project episode). 

After triple checking that the oven, stove and errrthang else was turned off, I hit the road for the gym.  It was a bit later than I usually go, and to be honest, my energy level was dragging a bit.  I pushed through 6 miles thanks to The Who’s best album ever, and then called it a day.  Sure, I stretched and did some ab work too, but it was pretty weak, so I don’t think it counts.

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I showered and munched on 365 stoned wheat crackers while pondering what to make for dinner. 

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Pasta and broccoli with (vegan) Alfredo sauce.  Obviously, REAL Alfredo sauce has dairy, so I made a few changes to my white UN-cheese sauce and drizzled it all up in this motha!

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Ok, the main change was I used more plain soymilk, WAY more nutritional yeast, and a bit less tofu.  We’ll call it AlfreDON’T.

For dessert, I made fake ice cream using frozen fruit (strawbeezies and nanners), ice, more ice, soymilk, and half a scoop of Jay Robb protein powder.  Don’t mind that freezer burn, just means you use less ice 😉

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I tossed it all into the magic bullet and blend blend blend…voila!!

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Are you drooling yet?  I had twice the amount shown, which left me feeling delightfully full, so I packed my lunch and got ready for work tomorrow. 

FYI, this month’s Fitness mag has a sh!t ton of great soup recipes in it (all are easily veganized), so check it out.  What are some of your fave cooking or exercise magazines?

I try not to spend my $$ on too many magazines, but I do get a few (one was a NYRR race registration subscription gift and the others were holiday gifts). 

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Coffee + fresh fruit + bridal mags = perfect rainy day morning

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I literally can’t get enough fruit lately.  It’s practically all I crave (aside from hummus, I mean).  Around the clock.  Every hour, on the hour.  Strawberries, pineapple, and apples – oh my!

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Which do you like more, my voracious apple-tite (#2 before 11 am), my cheesy desktop background photo, or my stunning steel colored nail polish?

For me, it’s a toss up.  Apples are simply THAT good, and judging by everyone’s comments on yesterday’s post, it sounds like I’m not the only one in an apple-loving phase. 

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You thought I was joking, didn’t you?  Not so much. 

Hello insulin?  The massive-fruit-consumption-induced spike in my blood sugar was just what I needed to get my booty in gear (note to self: cheek marks in the couch past noon is just plain unacceptable). 

GYM time. 

I did 8 miles on the elliptical and they flew by – evidently fruit is my Ritalin.  By the end of it I was sweating bullets and it was fergalicious.  My body stay vicious, I be up in the gym, just workin’ on my fitness.

As if my day wasn’t already fabby enough, I got home to find senor mailman hooked a hippie up!

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Exhibit A: Nature’s Pride 12 grain and 100% whole wheat bread.  Thanks Foodbuzz!!

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Exhibit B: My artsy, creative boo’s hand made card.  Adorbz, no?  And 100% accurate, to boot.  Love.THIS.Girl.

As distracted as I was, the grrrrr of my stomach couldn’t be denied, so I figured it was high time I got some non-fruit in my system. 

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I went with a seitan and tofummus wrap.  I guess my wrapping skillz aren’t quite up to Jay-Z standards yet, because sh!t fell out.  I rolled with it, though (puns intended) and savored each bite.

If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know about my gift to mankind tofummus – get famil! It’ll change yo life :)  I’m like the match.com for the chickpea and the soybean…so glad they found each other! 

After my late lunch, I decided to take my chances with the weather and get a little fresh air before physical therapy.  (OF COURSE) the second I stepped out of the subway station the downpour began.  Stormy weather = boo!

What to do when the rain starts?  Rihanna? 

SHOP!  (There really is no better way to stay dry).  I got a new dress at H&M for this weekend (we have an engagement photo session in the Park).  Unfortunately, it didn’t take too long for me to get burned out (being soaked from the waist down tends to do that).  So, I just showed up at PT 30 minutes early to dry off.  Despite being a little drenched, I had another great session.  My neck and back are definitely getting better, and with such small changes!! 

What happens when you are stuck downtown in the rain and it’s already 7:30 pm? 

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…a Whole Foods dinner date.  It was well after 8 by the time Kyle and I met up in Columbus Circle, and I was in one of those super indecisive moods, so it took another 30 minutes before I sat down to enjoy the (above) smorgasbord.  It was good, but not as inspired as my typical WF meals.  I don’t like the Columbus Circle hot bar as much.  Unlike the Union Square and UWS locations, they don’t label things as vegan/vegetarian on the top of the labels, nor do they have the allergen info at the bottom.  It can be exhausting (and VERY time consuming) reading each and every label for the ingredients (this annoys Kyle far more than me, but still).  By comparison, at the other stores I can do a quick scan and narrow down my options in 5 minutes because they say “contains tree nuts” or “contains soy” or “contain dairy”  or “contains wheat” right on the label (as well as vegan or vegetarian or raw).  It’s the little things…

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We walked part of the way home, so I was ready for dessert upon arrival.  In addition to the bowl full of carob/crispy/nut chunks, I made a Jay Robb chocolate protein shake with 1/2 a frozen banana, 1/2 cup soymilk, 1/4 cup water, 3 ice cubes, and a few drops of NuNaturals’ vanilla extract.  Mmmmm…

Being so late in the PM, it was a bit too much food for me, but since Kyle was still working from home, I stayed up ridic late watching Gossip Girl and emailing with my boo, so no harm no foul.  I have Tuesday off of work, too 🙂

Question:  I am being REQUIRED (as in , Federal Law) to get the flu shot AND the H1N1 (Swine flu) shot for work, and I’m NOT thrilled about this.  Last week, a coworker had a pretty crazy reaction and had to go to the ED, and with similar stories all over the news, can you blame me?  What are your thoughts on this?  I understand for the elderly or immuno-compromised, but I’m a healthy 20 year old.  I don’t think working in the hospital environment necessarily increases my exposure.  I don’t work in the Emergency Department, either.  Hmmm.  I guess in the end, I don’t really have a choice.  For now my plan is to wait ‘til the deadline, so they can work out all the kinks before they get to me.  Have you gotten the flu shot this season?  In the past?  Will you?  Can’t I just eat an extra apple a day to keep the MD away?  At that rate, I’d be going through a bushel of apples each week!!

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At some point I guess you just have to accept that you can’t catch up.  For me, that day is today.  Rather than go back to where I last left off (Friday’s eats), I am skipping ahead to the weekend’s eats.  Trust me, you aren’t missing anything too epic…hummus and fruit, no doubt.

You know what a packed lunch means…

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Work weekend 😦

The snack deets: green monster superfood odwalla bar, peanut toffee buzz clif bar (holy EFFING yum – is this a new flavor, or have i just found the light?), the last of my generic salty-a$$ pretz, goji berries, dried papaya chunks, and an apple (with the adorable little leaf still on the stem).

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The salad deets: spinach, carrots, sweet potato slices, and raisins, with a black bean/chickpea blend “dressing” (it was more of a dip than a dressing, but since it topped the salad, I guess it can borrow the umbrella phrase of “dressing” for today).

Isn’t that the cutest little tuperware ever!?  Perfect for dressings (or hummus).

Sweet potatoes and raisins are a new fave combo.  The sweetness made it almost like a dessert, but in salad form.  Mmmm…

Nothing too amazing to report back on work.  I had a 60 year old patient who acted like a 3 year old (whining, tantrums, diapers, teddy bears, etc.), so that REALLY tested my patience, but other than that, it was smooth sailing and I was home before 8, ready for dinner.

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Can I hear a big hell yeah for the return of spaghetti squash?  I had baked the squash earlier, so the noodles were all ready to go when I got home.  All I did was steam some mushrooms, reheat some of Nate’s (vegan) Italian meatless meatballs, and top it off with a heavy hand of nooch and vegan parma. 

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You like?  I did.  I gobbled it down while watching football, along with some carby supplementation in the form of an english muffin.

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Hummus + nooch = heaven

For reals, this combo is out of this world (Courtney, you are a genius!!). 

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You know a girl still needs her fruity/hummusy desserts.  I finished off the chocolate mousse dessert hummus with TWO apples, but I still had a hankering for something juicy (enter honeydew).

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After my tummy was satisfied, I got ready for bed and hit the sack. 

It’s a good thing I had already packed (the below) before I zonked out because I woke up in quite the ALARMING sitch.  Kyle nudged me at 6:58 saying “what are you doing?”   AAAAAHHHHH!

I flew out of bed and called the unit saying I’d be a little late…uhhh, a little? 

OK, I am supposed to start work at 7, and as I have said before, I am a super punctual person.  As in, I arrive an hour before work starts to drink my coffee, read, and crossword, and, well, wake up.  I’m not a morning person, so these extra minutes are very crucial.  Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to remember my lunch as I whirled through the apartment in a Tazmanian-Devil-like manner.  Eek.  The ridiculous weekend subway service didn’t help matters.  I was practically pacing the subway platform, I was so anxious about being late.  I hate it!  Seriously, I think I looked down the tunnel for the oncoming train 659,208 times in a 2 minute period.  It was like time was flying by, and the trains were in slow motion.  Grrrr.  I got to work at 8 am, and as it turned out, the other nurse had only arrived minutes before due to similar weekend commuting issues. 

I was so flustered it took half the day for me to get back on track.  No bueno.

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Pear, apple, superfood odwalla bar, apricot clif bar, salad, Whole Foods’ carob/nut/crispy chunks, oat bran pretzels and raisins.

I can’t get enough of these chunks of carob lovin’.

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The oat bran pretzels were okay on their own, but better when combined with the raisins.  Or…

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HUMMUS! 

Yes, this is the comfort food I turn to when I am distressed over being late the weather outside is gloomy and rainy.  Since it was pouring outside, there was nowhere to sit in Starbucks or Bruno’s, so I turned to the hospital’s (pathetic excuse for a) lobby. 

Just me and my Sabra

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Oh, and a loaf of bread (just look how huge it was compared to the big tub of Sabra)!  Bruno’s fresh, fluffy loaves are to die for – and they never judge me when I buy way more than a single person should consume in one serving.

Oh, and if you were wondering HOW I survived the AM without my usual caffeine fix, never fear.  I grabbed two packets of Tazo Chai tea on the way out the door, which saved my sanity (and that of my patients, too).

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It also saved me some $$.  Not that I was looking for the silver lining as I was racing to work, but still.

When I got home, I made like Paris Hilton opted for the quickest and easiest.

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Gardenburger’s veggie patties were on sale last week at WF, so I was really excited to try multiple flavors.  Up first?  The Garden Vegan flavor. 

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Great nutritional info, great texture, great taste.  I am definitely a fan.  Will I buy these again?  Yes, and often. 

I had two patties open faced on a toasted english muffin with the last of the roasted red pepper Sabra.  On the side was raw corn with MORE hummus. 

As usual, I needed a little somethin’ somethin’ extra in the carb department, so I mixed the last of the hummus with the last of the raw corn and added it on top of another english muffin (“The Finisher” strikes again).  These WF english muffins are denser than what I’m used to, but I could learn to like it.  I’m always seduced by the Rudi’s muffins that are right next to them, because so many people rave about ‘em (and I know my girl K would never lead me astray), but they are double the $$, so until the peeps over at Rudi’s get their act together and cut prices, I am going to stick with the economically sound choice, 365.

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Another orange/yellow saturated meal! 

Peyton Manning, several bowls of fruit, and the knowledge that I have Monday off of work – priceless!

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Right now, I am in a bit of a fruit-a-holic mode.  I love looking back on past posts, because I got through such lustful phases with certain foods, especially with my dessert choices.  I have no doubt, soon I will be back to massive dried fruit plates, nutbutter stuffed dates, or protein smoothies.  What’s your latest food obsession?  Seems like I have a steady rotation going…anyone else with me on this?

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For the record, this is Thursday’s food (behind much?)…so forgive me if this is brief.  My recollection of the day’s happs is a bit foggy.

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Nothing too complicated about this.  Coffee with mega froth.

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I broke the fast with fresh melon and blueberry Chobz.  Fruity, no?

Pretty sure I gymed it up after breks.  Nothing like working up a sweat to Little Miss Narcissism (aka She by Sheree).  Seriously, WHO gets a life size portrait of their own bust?  Those ATL b!tches will never cease to amaze me… 

I wanted some good old fashioned comfort food when I got home. 

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It shouldn’t surprise you that I think of hummus as comfort food.  Nor should it surprise you that I decided hummus would be the PERFECT topping to pizza.

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PIZZA!  (or my hippie version at least). 

On top of a toasted wheat pita, I added tomato chunks, Nate’s (vegan) Italian meatless meatballs, and big ‘ol blobs of delicious humm-daddy

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Get in my belly!

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I sliced it in half and DUG IN.  T’was heaven in my boca.  I have a feeling this will reappear mucho in the future Kyle will demand I repeat this for him. 

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I sliced up one apple and several strawbeezies for lunch dessert.  After getting my face and hair did, I peaced out to play in the sunshine. 

Kyle and I decided to do a little dinner and a movie mid-week date, so I met Kyle for dinner at the Columbus Circle Whole Foods before we headed to see (500) Days of Summer.

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No, it’s not Pandora’s box, nor is it my attempt at artsy-fartsy photography…this little peep show view was the best I could do while getting some bizarro stares (you can’t be too picky when you are wedged between the masses in the dinning section of the store). 

From the hot-bar: 3 pieces of wheat naan (omg, so good, I DIE!!!), Mediterranean seasoned tofu, quinoa, soy nuts, falafel, and a 4 bean salad.  I was kinda all over the place with the international eats, huh?!  Reel it in Elise!

Anyways, the movie was…hmmm…good(ish).  I liked some parts, but also was annoyed by other aspects of the plot.  C’est la vie.

The walk home built up my appetite for dessert. 

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CHOCOLATE MOUSSE dessert hummus.  These flavors just keep getting better and better.  Long after the side platter of strawberries and apples was gone, I was still downing dessert hummus by the spoonful.  No joke, this sh!t was bananas good.  BUY it NOW.  Thank me later.  🙂

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I didn’t even realize how ridiculously orange my meals were, until I uploaded all the pictures…holy naranja

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I woke up fairly early for my day off, which allowed time for serious AM chowing.  This mug vat of coffee had froth up the yin-yang (just the way I like it).  I also toasted an English muffin and caked on the Smart Balance light.  Puddles of butter normally skeeve me out, but for some reason I craved it today.

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Throughout the morning I read blogs and snacked on lots of fruit.  Gotta enjoy the (dwindling) sweet part of summer as long as I can…

Later on, I set out to do my fave thing (aside from watching trashy tv marathons in my PJs), grocery shopping at Whole Foods of course!! 

Clearly I couldn’t escape without taking a little dip into the prepared foods section.  I got a couple (of pounds) of seitan chimichurri skewers – made famous by the one and only Candle 79, which I happily tested out for lunch once I got back home.

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In addition to the seitan skewers I whipped up some cheesy quinoa (meaning it was doused in nooch).  Dee-lish.

Seeing as a few days had passed since my half marathon, I decided it was about time I headed back to the gym (I had work the days following the race, so I had those days off from the gym by default, not so much by choice).  Nothing too advanced was planned, I just wanted to give my muscles a chance to warm up and loosen out.  I did 60 minutes on the elliptical, and by the end of it, I felt like my old self again.  Is it just me, or does it seem like the best remedy for sore muscles is giving them a workout.  Stretching is great of course, but I really think light exercise is better than resting them.  Time off seems to tighten me up even more.  Well, anyways, I followed up my cardio with some ab work and stretching, and then headed home.

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Post gym noshing: raw almonds, goji berries, and dried mangoes.  Sadly, my brief love affair may be over with nuts, as I didn’t really enjoy these.  I still like nuts so-so if they are mixed in with other things (i.e. bars), but plain nuts, not so much. 

[Insert 15 minutes of showering and beautifying] High maintenance? Not I.

I also made it to the lower east side in record breaking time for my 3rd physical therapy session.  Being soopah early worked out though, and I had extra time to chat it up with my momz about my upcoming trip home to try on WEDDING DRESSES (oh, and run another half marathon, too).  🙂

Best session EVAH!  My PT manipulated my spine like cuh-raze.  Fo reals, I was poppin’ and lockin’ all over the place enough to make Usher jealous.  I think my range of motion improved by 45 degrees in each direction after he worked his magic…I also fell asleep somewhere in between the ultrasound and electric stim…but that’ll be our little secret.  I can’t even tell you how much better I felt  when I left.   The icing on the cake?

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I stopped into the BUX for a chai tea.  I’m freaking OBSESSED with Tazo’s organic chai tea.  OBSESSED, I tell ya.

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My orange meals raged on with dinner, starting with steamed sweet potatoes.  BTW, thanks to everyone who chimed in with info regarding my sweet potato vs. yam inquiry.  As it turns out, the USDA got it wrong (again) which explains where all of our confusion stems from.  Even though true yams (a starchy edible root) are basically non-existent in the US, the Dept. of Agriculture requires that the label "yam" always be accompanied by "sweet potato."  Um, sure.  I guess whatever the man says goes.

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On my beta-Carotene loaded plate: sweet potato slices, carrots, chickpeas, and a Boca chik’n patty.

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Oh, and don’t forget about the side of tofummus, which my orange food was swimming in by the time I got through with it (moderation not so much). 

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Dessert was the second half of cantaloupe and lots of tivo 😉

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I got all confused when my alarm went off.  Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a normal schedule.  A Monday through Friday gig with no question as to when I should set my alarm.  One in which I didn’t wake up at 5 AM and stumble around for 10 minutes trying to remember if that day was a work day or a day off.  Or worse, snap out of bed at 8 AM wondering if I slept through the start of my shift!  Sure, there are perks to having a flex schedule, but there are also negatives.   Getting one month of my schedule at a time makes it virtually impossible to make plans ahead of time.  And for the super-scheduler that I am, that’s a BIG negative.  For the normal jobbed people out there, do you start work at the same time throughout the week?  Or is each day different?  You have any say in your hours?  Or for the peeps in school, do you like to keep each day’s wake up call similar, or do you have certain days you sleep in more than others?  At my high school we had late Wednesdays that started 45 minutes later than the rest of the week.  Weird.

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Anyways, here was the lunch I packed.  I finished off my beloved Newman’s Own protein pretzels, so I had to substitute in some normal ones.  As you may or may not be able to see (from the above photo), they were way bigger, but way thinner.  Not a fan.  I’m hooked on Newman’s and this other kind was so salty I couldn’t taste anything but the massive sodium rocks.  They even drowned out the pistachios and goji berries. 

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The salad on the other hand was QUITE the masterpiece if I do say so myself.  I’m not sure it could be called a “salad” per se, but it DID have a bottom layer of lettuce, so I guess it meets the criteria.  The other topping included: tofu chunks, leftover root veggies, carrots, quinoa, and soy nutsSoy nuts are my new favorite salad topping because they give the perfect crunch to each bite. 

After work, I came home with the uncharacteristic desire to MAKE dinner.  Usually, I’m so exhausted I just want something quick and easy.  But not today!  This dinner was a two course affair and full of layers. 

First up, pasta.

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Layer 1: Noodles

Layer 2: Nooch (don’t be skimpy)

Layer 3: LightLife soy bacon

Layer 4: Peas

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Cheesy pasta with bacon would normally be an artery clogging meal, but I made it healthy, hippie-style (clearly my training in maintaining a heart healthy diet is useful outside the hospital setting).  I love all-in-one dishes.  Why not just mix everything together in a bowl?

For the second layered dinner dish, I made a salad.

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Layer 1: Spinach

Layer 2: Sweet potato wedges (can someone please tell me the difference between a sweet potato and a yam?)

Layer 3: Nooch & paprika covered cauliflower

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I got this idea from my TX homegirl Erin’s raw popcorn.  All I did was add nooch, paprika, and S&P to a tuperware full of raw cauliflower florets (it’s shake-n-bake, and I helped).  Sooo good!

Layer 4: Hummus

Layer 5: More hummus

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It may not LOOK pretty, but it tasted damn fine.

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I love that you can’t tell where the cauliflower ends and the hummus begins…that is how all meals should be.  SO MUCH HUMM-DADDY.  Makes my heart go pitter patter with love beats.

Even after my two course PM feast, my sweet tooth was a raging beast, so I was coerced into obliging.  You know how these things go…

Introducing the newest dessert hummus flavor: Caramel Apple

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True convo with Kyle as I was eating (the above) dessert:

E: This is ridiculously good.  I might have to finish it all.

K: Getting between you and your hummus is like a Mama bear and her cub!

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Yes.  So don’t try.

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I have been a slacker!  Rather than let these photos cause my 900th computer crash fall by the wayside, how about we play a quick little game of catch (up)?

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Last week, vital wheat gluten met my bestie, the chickpea.

I went with the tried and true (recipe from V’con) for chickpea seitan cutlets.  Can cookbooks win Pulitzers?  So simple, so genius. 

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I barely let them cool before taste testing them out on a piece of bread (and subsequently losing a layer of skin on the roof of my mouth).  Yum yum.

The magic bullet definitely came in handy – adios to sore forearm muscles!  The chickpeas were blended up in 1, 2, 3 quick seconds with a few larger chunks left for texture (which was important given the gooey texture of the VWG).

Anyways, more on what to DO with the chickpea cutlets later. 

Monday was such a Monday (usually I don’t have those typical feelings about specific days of the week, since my work schedule is random and not the Mon-Fri drill).  But this was a particularly rough day since I woke up sooooo sore.  I stretched for a solid 10 minutes before getting myself put together for work.  Here are my pre-packed eats:

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Notice the new bar?  Not the odwalla superfood (that bad boy has already proved itself time and time again, so it will forever be on the starting lineup).  I’m talking about the thinkThin white chocolate chip bar. 

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Ok, I bought this bar on a whim weeks ago, because the cute wrapper won me over (I’m a sucker for packaging – aka a marketer’s wet dream).  But since then, I have put off eating it because of it’s sketchy ingredients.  Carpe diem, I guess? 

Pros: My stomach wasn’t even upset by it.  In fact, my tum was (dare I say it?) PLEASED with it!  I felt content, and there were no lethargic side effects or other icky symptoms of GI rejection (which are so common in my life, I basically consider it a standard).  Also, there is mucho protein.  Me likey.  Cons: The ingredients are fairly hideous, and the “thin” marketing is slightly annoying.  I prefer to be “fit” not “thin,” but I get the idea behind the advertising, so I’ll let it slide.  Also, the texture was really weird.  It’s not a bar that you can really take a bite out of, as it bends and stretches.  Sorta odd.  Sorta fake.  Will I buy it again?  I think I just might (not on a regular basis, but still).

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Check out the ensalada genius-ness: spinach, carrots, leftover root vegetables, balsamic grilled tofu chunks, and quinoa (buried out of view apparently).

Work was – you know – work.  I survived.  So did my patients.  Then I came home for dinner. 

Hangry and about to chew my arm off, I opted for the quickest thing.

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I plated a sh!t ton of spinach topped with 2 chickpea seitan cutlets and half an avocado.  It was great, but far not CARB-Y enough…so I chopped the salad up, and made space for the standard hungry hungry hippie addition – a heap of quinoa mixed with hummus, plus an even BIGGER heap of nooch 🙂

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The hummus/nooch combo rocked my world so much, I had to have another serving.

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This time I added chickpeas, too.  Favorite dish alert!!

Dessert was peaches and strawberries.  I could have died and gone to foodie heaven after this meal.  Forget pie, fruit is so dang good on it’s own, why mess with what nature already perfected?

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Seriously, is there anything better than a big juicy bowl of fruit? 

I did more stretching before starting my PM routine, then limped my way to bed.  Hopefully I won’t have to deal with this stiffness tomorrow (TWSS).

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