Site Change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I realize that I should have done this MUCH earlier ….but I have a new and improved site that I am liking much much more. Check out my new post!!!!!

cocoanutshakes.wordpress.com

cocoanutshakes.wordpress.com

cocoanutshakes.wordpress.com

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Invited Out

First of all, I never realized until today how much I love fans. I just bought a sweeeeet new one yesterday and it’s the most heavenly thing on earth. I also randomly got my hot water back. It’s hilarious how easily pleased I am these days.

Anyway! Made some new varieties of banana ice cream, one of which has some veggies in it. Excellent. It’s crazy how creative breakfast has been making me feel recently. I guess some people write poetry and paint, for me (and many others), coming up with interesting ways to pack in nutrients is brain candy.

Trail Mix Banana Ice Cream

This one was one frozen banana blended with a few peanuts, then topped with more peanuts, raisins and 1/4 c raw oats. Totally tasted like trail mix.

Carrot Cake Banana Ice Cream

1/4 c shredded carrots and one frozen banana blended with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 c raw oats.  Threw some walnuts on top at the last minute! I think I got the idea from a great blog, http://www.katheats.com. This was  so great with a hot cup of coffee…love the hot and cold combo.  “I will alternate between hot and cold.” (Arrested Development)

After each respective creation I went on 4 mile runs and came back to do squats/wall sits with shoulder presses/push ups/lunges with bicep curls. I’m starting to go back and forth between strength training THEN cardio versus the other way around. I’ve done strength then cardio forever, but it feels really good and refreshing to switch it up recently. I also feel like I put more into my strength training when I’m already massively sweaty. Always good to mix things up.

Then disaster struck. I was invited out to dinner. In China. Where everyone shares everything and the oil usage is out of control. I was freaking out all day. I haven’t had Chinese food in months and am finally feeling healthy, and now, a week before the half marathon I have to ruin it. I ended up picking things out of random dishes: hot peppers, onions and cilantro along with some delicious fish. Even though I only ate REALLY light vegetables and a light protein (granted I totally overdid it on the fish), I still felt like there was a brick in my stomach. Hmm… maybe I’m placing the blame on the food when it’s really my own lack of willpower at fault.

Made myself feel better by making some of this for future use:

Cashew Butter

HORRIBLE photos today. I apologize, it will never happen again.

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Filed under Breakfast, Nut Butter

Random Walking Thoughts

Wow.

Recently I’ve been loving The Biggest Loser. I had never seen it until about a week ago! That show is nuts. And by nuts I mean amazing and crazy inspiring. I’ll be honest I felt a sting in my eye at least two times in each episode and today it really got me thinking about motivation. What is it that motivates people to lose weight and subsequently stay healthy? I feel like it usually starts out with the same themes: Wanting a GF/BF, wanting to attract the opposite sex in general, wanting to do more activities with family members, HOPEFULLY getting healthy…or maybe shame? Everyone has their reason but the most successful people, it seems, are those who eventually shift their motivation inwards and are driven by the changes and improvements that they see/feel.
The overwhelming euphoria that the contestants experience when they step on the scale and see that they’ve lost 20-30 pounds in a week can make ANYone want to slurp down something super healthy and jet out for a run. When I needed to lose weight in college I would be really inspired when I could see positive changes in myself. Now when I eat something insanely healthy or have a great workout, all I can think about is how I can’t wait to do it all over again and see what results come of it, be it having a great creative outlet, a burst of energy or looser fitting pants. It’s literally like being high on life. This is not a new idea by any means, it just happened to be
going through my head during a long walk and The Shred.
Today was one of the more perfect and satisfying food days I’ve had in a while. Diverse and full of fruit, veggies and protein. Used a lot of imported products here …I think I’m going to try to start cutting down and use what I have at the local market to be creative….we’ll see.

Banana (Cinnamon) Almond Ice Cream with Raw Rolled Oats

Egg White Omelet with Fresh Basil

Chana Masala with Steamed Brocolli

I kind of made this on a whim so I didn’t really follow a recipe. Not sure if this is REAL Chana Masala but it worked for me.
Chana Masala:
4 cloves of garlic
1 small piece of fresh ginger
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp curry powder
(homemade marinara sauce)
1 can chickpeas
handful of fresh cilantro
S&P

1. Sauté garlic and ginger in a big pan for about 1 minute

2. Add 2 cups marinara sauce (any kind of tomato sauce works)

3. Add spices and stir, let spices and sauce incorporate for a minute or two

4. Add the chickpeas, stir to combine, and let simmer until sauce thickens

5. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with bright green vegetable!

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, lunch

Countryside

I spent the weekend in the BEAUTIFUL town of Yangshuo. It was surreal: good friends, great bike rides, rock climbing, and healthy/delicious food (by my crazy Western standards). The town kind of caters to foreigners but I completely ate it up and loved every second of it. A few highlights!

Rice Fields

Carrot Lemon Juice

The waitress almost didn’t let me order this because she thought it sounded disgusting. “I think this will not be very good.” mMMM carrot juice–so perfect when you don’t feel like just water but don’t want all the sugar of fruit juice.

Climbed the rock to the left

Mountains...or hills?

Carrot Orange Juice

The first time I ordered this they put MILK in it. AHHHH KILL ME.

Basil Garlic Hummus with Wasa Crackers

Mid rock climbing snack!! I made this at home and brought it along with my breakfast cookie (which tasted EXACTLY like a clif bar with no weirdo ingredients) and overnight oats. Hummus: Can of chickpeas, clove of garlic, fresh basil, S&P, blended. Most people add olive oil, tahini, lemon, etc. but I didn’t really feel like added fat or tartness–and it was fantastic.

Double Veggie Burger

My first veggie burger in a LONG time. Ordered homemade whole wheat toast on the side and replaced the bun that they gave me. Got a couple of weird looks but it was all good! AHH Yangshuo is so amazing….feels more like SE Asia than China and made me so excited to get back home =).

On another note–excited to work on rock climbing back in the states!! It’s such a great way to work out while having a blast–you barely even think about the fact that you’re exercising! My arms, shoulders and back are super sore, in the good way. Being sore is such a good indicator of having a great workout. Yessss.

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Filed under China, Restaurant, Travel

Summery

YESSSS it is definitely feeling like summer here. Out of nowhere the temperature went way up and the sun came out. Who knows how long it will last but I matched the beautiful day with some summery grub.

Strawberry Mango Hemp Smoothie with Muesli

Handful of strawberries, 1 mango, 1 huge tbsp hemp protein, cinnamon, 1 c soymilk, sprinkle of muesli. Energizingggg!

Spent the entire morning doing The Shred and preparing food to take on my two day trip out to Guilin (in the countryside). I guess it’s a little crazy that I’m attempting to pack 6 different meals BUT I prepared a batch of almond butter, breakfast cookie, protein oats, carrots, apples, crackers, homemade basil hummus, celery, cauliflower and the DELISH corn salad that I made for lunch. The best part is that everything, besides the corn is raw (I’m trying to eat at least two raw meals a day because it has been making me feel heavenly).

Mid-Almond Butter Making

Breakfast Cookie - oats, almond butter, hemp protein, soymilk, raisins, cinnamon

SUMMER = Fresh Corn Salad (with basil)

From The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook:

  • 5 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.

Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

For some veggies:

Snow Peas

And dessert!! I almost don’t want to show this since my food styling has been seriously off this week. I wanted to make banana almond strawberry date ice cream…but I didn’t have any frozen bananas. I ended up making an almond-strawberry-date compote and putting it on top of a split banana. MMM.

This looks hilarious

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Filed under Almond Butter, Dessert, Fruit, Salad, Shake, Travel

Not Busy, Busy, and Unfortunate Looking Food

I have a weird ability to make myself insanely busy when in reality, I have nothing to do. Since I only teach 10 measly hours a week, I really like making use of all that extra time. It’s crazy though how most people (including me) can get tons of stuff done when they’re busy, but seem to accomplish nothing when they have an entire day free. This was a problem for a LONG time when I first got to China, but I finally figured out that if I try to mimic my life at home it’s much easier to have a normal day instead of a day centered around my bed…somehow I was given a california king btw, NOT easy to leave. I usually make up some weird errand like needing to walk 4 miles to a certain store to buy some sort of random thing that I don’t need. Or 45 minutes across the river to go to a chain coffee shop that also has an outpost near my apartment. Whatever works right?
Wednesday and Thursday started out the same: waking up at 7 am and attempting some raw vegan breakfast recipe, hour of interneting, followed by The Shred, a run, and a million make-believe errands. Not the most beautiful creations, but they were beautiful on the INSIDE OKK??

Banana Almond Ice Cream with Muesli

Full of deliciousness. But the consistency isn’t perfect…my ancient freezer makes things ROCK solid so I have to use lots of liquid to make the banana blend-able….better luck next time.

Strawberry Banana Hemp Soup with Muesli

Alright this was also a fail. I attempted to make something similar to the banana ice cream, but with some protein from the hemp. The bananas were SO frozen that there was no way this thing was gonna work. With some muesli on top it wasn’t half bad, but it was pretty unfortunate looking, eh? Next time I’m gonna put it in a giant glass so it looks a little less bizarro.

I came up with three new dinners to make this week that were super filling but very low fat/low cal. Woo! Keeping up with the theme for the week, they were also not the most aesthetically pleasing.

Healthy Huevos Rancheros

Egg whites (4), vegetarian refried beans from a can, and simple pico de gallo. The best part was definitely the pico de gallo, so easy! Chopped tomatoes, onion and cilantro sprinkled with sea salt. Nothing else necessary. I think I spotted some black eyed peas at the store so next time I think I’m going to test those out so that this dish doesn’t look like…well…something horrible happened to it. A crucial dousing of hot sauce went on after this photo.

Steamed Brocolli with Homemade Marinara and Mozzarella

Whipped up some marinara: Can of whole peeled tomatoes, oregano, S&P, fresh basil (YEAHHH METRO) and an onion sliced in half. Simmered for about 30 minutes (Chucked the onion after the sauce reduced a little) Grating cheese is so amazing, this is barely a serving of cheese but it worked for the whole meal. Butttttt I think after I go through the cheese in my fridge I’m gonna phase out all dairy…we’ll see.

Eggplant Pam? With no breading and no cheese...

I’m never really sure how to cook eggplant. Roasting or grilling seems nice but I don’t have an oven or a grill. I just sautéed them with some garlic and covered everything in marinara, but I feel like there’s a better way. Eggplant prepared Chinese style is amazing, I need to figure out their secret.

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Shake

Winning Combo

I had the absolute best workout of my life today. I really can’t even believe how much energy I had all day and I completely owe it to what I ate. Recently I’ve fallen into a routine of eating two raw, vegan meals a day plus one cooked, vegetarian meal (although vegan works there too). Why the cooked meal? Because I don’t own this, and also because I’m not that crazy, yet.

First raw vegan meal: banana almond “ice cream” with muesli. It’s like a eating a massive bowl of energy in the form of ice cream for breakfast. F*** yes. This one turned out a little melty since the bananas were frozen solid and I decided to soften them with scalding hot water. Next time I’ll just wait for them to thaw a bit.

Banana Almond Ice Cream with Muesli - Melting

1 Frozen banana, 1 tbsp almond butter, blended, muesli on top. Fruit, fiber, protein, good fats, satisfies for hours and super easy to digest. Heaven?

This breakfast fueled me through an hour of internet-ing, an hour walk to the grocery store, carrying all the groceries back, AND a session of The Shred. Usually I would be completely embarrassed if anyone knew I was doing an at home work out DVD, but this one is incredible and gives me SUCH great ideas to use at the gym. It includes fantastic compound strength moves, cardio and abs and it kicks my ass every time.

Post workout late lunch:

Chili and Chai

Leftover chili and a huge cup of chai =)

Two hours later: 8 mile run followed by hill sprints. I set out for a 4 mile run and somehow just kept going, honestly I was shocked. We’ll see if this trend continues but for now I give 100% credit to the raw/vegan/vegetarian combo. Hooray!!

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Filed under Breakfast, lunch, Work Out