Category Archives: Breakfast

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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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

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

Curious

PB&J with a tall, ice cold glass of milk. Quintessential childhood meal. One that I have never enjoyed in my entire life. I only started eating PB about two years ago after swearing it off for over 10 years because I got a flu one year at camp and blamed it on a PB&J. Yeah. Years before that, in preschool, the same thing occurred with milk and I haven’t had a sip of the stuff since. Oddly enough at the same time I named my favorite stuffed animal Milky. I was weird.

I don’t even feel like I’m missing out, but a weird curiosity struck me this morning. Since my reintroduction to PB went well (a little too well), why not give milk a try with some cereal? It seems to be pretty popular. Most people recoil in horror when I tell them that I hate milk and always eat (and love!) dry cereal…and then they  laugh at the fact that I still eat it in a bowl with a spoon. HOW else would you eat it??? Anyway…this morning I tested it out with some Muesli, banana, and plum.

Success??

You see the shadow on the left side of the photo? Very symbolic of the other dark cloud that permeated my apartment as I took my first, and last bite. I even made another bowl with soy milk. Not happening either. On the bright side, at least this is one dairy product that I can officially cross of my list! Luckily I had a fall back that never fails me:

Egg White Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Banana and Raisins

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Pumpkin Spice

OK so it’s Spring, but that doesn’t make the most fall-ish vegetable in the world, pumpkin, any less delicious or any less comforting on a chilly, rainy, lightning and thunder filled morning. PLUS it’s a ridiculously ridiculously (yeah, in Zoolander voice) easy way to add vegetables to dishes that call for some sweetness. I never knew that pumpkin was used in Chinese cooking but you can find it in any market, and in some restaurants they serve a steamed pumpkin concoction that is a welcome change from standard Chinese fare.

Pumpkin, Seeded

Chopped and Steamed

MMM Potassium!! Beta-Carotene!! Low calorie!! Pumpkin puree is SO useful and super easy to make. Just seed and chop a pumpkin, steam it for about 10 minutes or until it is nice and soft, then throw in a blender or food processor with some cinnamon (nutmeg and ginger is nice if you’ve got it), and maybe a tablespoon of brown sugar.

I didn’t photograph the puree because it looks kind of like baby food. But TRUST me it’s delicious. Especially when mixed into oatmeal or pancakes:

Egg White Oatmeal with Pumpkin Puree and Raisins

Complete breafast: Complex carb, protein, vegetable, fruit! Amazing!!!

Pumpkin Pancakes with Banana Caramel Syrup

Pancake recipe (makes about 4 pancakes) : .5 C flour, .5 C oats, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 C soy milk, 1 egg, cinnamon, 3 heaping spoons of pumpkin puree. Mix all ingredients in a bowl (NOT too much or you’ll lose some important fluffiness), pour 1/4 batter into pancake it up.  Syrup recipe: 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 C water. Boil water and sugar, stirring frequently until liquid thickens. Add sliced banana and simmer on low for a few minutes, checking to make sure it doesn’t burn!

Enjoy with a cup of (awesome Ecco) coffee out of your favorite mug from your favorite place in the world.

OG

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Breakfast in Bed

To me, there is nothing better (foodwise) than waking up starving and enjoying a hot cup of coffee with a wholesome, balanced, energy inducing breakfast. Many people advocate a fruit based breakfast…maybe I’ve been reading too much Skinny Bitch…. but I prefer to have a little sump’in to fill me up for as long as I can stand. I was never much of an oatmeal person after I got over my apples and cinnamon instant oatmeal kick at age 11. Recently, however, I discovered that it is an endless canvas for the ultimate healthy breakfast. Can’t wait to get back to the states to buy some steel cut or groats. I’ve been adding egg whites to my oats for extra protein and extra creaminess.

Egg White Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Banana and Goji Berries

*Technique for adding egg whites: once oatmeal thickens pour in 1-2 egg whites and stir constantly until fully cooked. Add toppings after eggs, and then crawl back into bed to watch Food Revolution and be shocked/inspired.

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