Monday, August 30, 2010

Two lonely, colorful "sticks"

After reading so many "foodie blogs", I decided to try eating my meals (or at least one!) with chopsticks.  Lunch on that matter.  I made a quick broccoli slaw stir-fry...something that was complementary for using chopsticks :).  I think chopsticks are a GREAT substitution to utensils for eating meals.... Why?
~Practices mindful eating: Enjoying your food thoroughly without rushing through the meal.

I could write a whole essay on why I'd choose chopsticks to consume my food rather than forks or knives (I wouldn't sub for a spoon.... can you picture eating pudding with chopsticks?) but that that reason in itself says it all.  I believe in being intuitive when it comes to eating-- respecting your hunger and full signals; eating what your body truly wants and needs (chocolate, veggies, butter, or whatever); using moderation; and NOT dieting.  For some people, like me...being vegetarian (semi-vegan).... I crave an abundance of fruit and veggies; grains, nut butters, and other fats (lots of um').  And I can't fully be intuitive when it comes to eating when till I'm full: I'm trying to gain some weight and I'm pretty active, so even when i'm not hungry, I still need to re-fuel my body every 2-3 hours.   Going back to using chopsticks.... I DO try to fully taste and enjoy my meal instead of stabbing a fork at my food, shoving it in my mouth and finishing my meal without fully "tasting everything".  I try to do that, but I'm not going to say I do it 100%--sometimes it's SOOOO good I eat pretty fast ;)

Sadly though my chopstick regime did not turn out.  I learned just today I truly don't know how to use chopsticks!!!!!!!  Crazy, huh?  I guess I need some culture added to my life-- using the ole' fork and knife has been a staple to my whole life.  I was quite sad when I couldn't seem to pick up my stir-fry this afternoon.  I SOOOO wanted to use my chopsticks, they were pretty, too.  I may just need a lesson ;)

Have you struggled with using chopsticks, too, but wanted to so bad?...Or is it just me?

I only had a swim class early this morning, so much of my day was spent preparing for tomorrow's classes: math and English.  I cooked up some tasty meals, too since I was home most of the day.  And yes, everything posted was consumed just today, not over the course of the days. :)
Pre breakfast snack before my bike/run, unpictured: Amy's California burger; grapes
    I came home from my run/bike (bike to school, then ran for 35) and had oats blended with soy creamer, strawberries, banana, almond milk and topped with almond butter.  I like to call it strawberry- banana love in a bowl <3

    yum, yum yum it was sooooo yumilicious (I know, I know, that's not a word)

       Slaw stir- fry with carrots, mushrooms and raw cashews added; whole- made luscious cashew milk; carrots and sabra garlic hummus....and the poor chopsticks unused :(  At least I tried!  The fork took over.

I was still hungry since my lunch was pretty light, so I had a bit of a heavier snack than usual.  And it was ALL consumed.  Nom, nom.

   " Brownie Batter pancakes" with banana, coconut butter and peanut butter; grapes, chilly almond milk and Mr. summer squash grilled fries.

Yes, I know the brownie batter pancakes look like "poo"-- they're not as presentable as Katie's, but they were  delicious and that's all that matters :).  Definitely recommend makin' um.  You can get this recipe on her page, the creative juices are not from me sadly.  Yes Katie, I made ANOTHER one of your recipes. You inspire me.  WAY too much :)

Yes.  I made another trip to my infamous Whole Foods to get some goodies this afternoon.  I love my summer produce and sun but I definitely yearning for my winter squash and pumpty- pumpkin :)  So while @ Whole Foods, I ventured to see if the squash was available in- season yet.  To my surprise, it was.  I was pretty stocked.  I stocked up for the next week or so and got spaghetti squash, a mini, plump acorn squash and a Kabocha squash cuz there are some recipes I SOOO want to make with those beauties :)  Expect to see um' all soon :)


    Coconut galore-- I was all out.

     Homegrown goodies-- Heirloom tom-a-toes, white squash....

       .....I went for the spaghetti squash to cook- up for suppa'. 

    ....After it was done cooking and I scooped the flesh all out, I broiled the amount I was going to eat.
    You can see my reflection on the oven :-)

    I made my dinner early and put in the refrigerator after assembling to save for suppa' time.

   I made a Mexican- ohmygoshspaghetti squash version.  I broiled some spaghetti squash with olive oil and oregano; then layered it with TJ's organic pinto refried beans. avocado and sauteed tomatoes.  I also had a salad with pistachios and more (homegrown tomatoes) with Annie's Goddess dressing and had some bouncy grapes on the side.  YUM, it was so amazing.  Thank you again Katie, for helping me-- through your recipe-- cook a spaghetti squash to perfection.  It was scrumptious <3


   Buenos noches. I'm off to prepare for my classes tomorrow-- wish me luck <3


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Helloooo, escuela :-)

Yes.  That's right.  You heard it.  I start school tomorrow.  I'm not at an "official university", but rather @ a community college called Cabrillo College where I'm going for a year or two to get my general education (GE) done with.  I just graduated from high school last June and although (like I've said in earlier posts) I'm so, so SOOOOO angry I couldn't go away to an actual non- junior college university, it's a decision for the better.  And I've learned to except it despite not wanting to for many, many months.

Not to brag or anything, but all four years of high school I went "above and beyond"-- 4.2 GPA student, excellent extracurriculars, awesome SAT scores, took extra classes above and beyond what colleges asked for, etc.... :)  You get the picture!  I DID do that out of the kindness and willingness of my heart, but deep down there was a burning passion to mainly do all that to get into the best college and the ones on my top list: UCLA, Stanford, NYU....

To make a long story short, in the end financially and where I'm at now, my parents and I decided that'd I'd stay around Santa Cruz (my home town) a little while longer and attend Cabrillo College-- The junior college in my area-- to get my GE and AA done with then transfer to where ever I want to!  There is a lot of pros to going to of them is it's just 3-4 minutes from my house so I can bike/ walk there (i'm going to bike majority of the time with my new bike!  Pics to come!).  At first I thought there was just a lot of cons, but not I see the pros.

So tomorrow I start, yes I do.  And although I'd like for summer to NEVER end-- but really, who doesn't?  I need to get on with my life so I can learn, learn, learn more and become an RD and or/ nurse practionior or pediatrician in Adolescent Medicine.  And yes, that's what I want to do in my future career.  A post about that will definitely come; that's a whole other story and post in it's self!

The classes I'm taking....
*Swim Fitness-- I'm SOOOO excited.  Totally love to swim, esp. bright and early @ 8am :) YIKES
*College Success-- Online class (one of the only); Study tips and career and personality tests of how you learn and how you can do better.  Easy units but interesting class.  Can't wait to see what that'll behold.
*English 100 and lab
*Math 152-- Not my favoritest subject, at least it's not Calculus though :)
*Personal Health-- (online) I'm wait listed for this class. So I may not get in; still don't know since it's an online class.

It should be pretty smooth sailing this semester since I took it pretty light-- I got late registration since I'm a freshman so I didn't get all the classes I wanted.  No worries.  Next semester I'll have priority registration and get to register @ the same time as everybody else, yay!

And as for work at the Bakery?  Still doing that, but reducing my hours a lot to focus on school and have a bit more of my life back :).  Still need the mula though!  So gots to balance work and school, hope it works!'s some of my meals in the last couple days...
      I made rainbow coleslaw on my food processor!  I thought you know what, don't got any Broccoli Slaw or shredded cabbage on hand from TJ's or WF (Whole Foods) however I DO have purple and green cabbage and carrots, so i'll shred my own!  It was super easy and super yummy :)!

       Mondo salad made with my whole made cabbage- carrot slaw, black beans, cheddar cheese, homegrown tomatoes (yay!), and avocado.

I know.  Lots of black beans recently, but I made a big pot of them a couple days ago so I'm trying to use them up as best as I can.  So why not a taco salad?
      Snackageee.  Apple with Dark Chocolate Dreams PB; oats with CCV's high- protein chocolate cake (which didn't really turn out...too gooey and I think I added too much pumpkin and protein); cool US vanilla rice milk.

     Oat bran a la almond milk, banana and cinnamon; over- easy egg; granny-smith apple con PB
    Greens with chickpeas, zucc', red bell pepper and PB dressing (rice vinegar, stevia, PB, garlic powder)
    Creamy, luscious oat bran made with banana, rice milk topped with strawberries and almond butter-- "strawberry- banana oaty"
Sorry, it's late and i'm tired...these photos are not in order of bfast, lunch, dinner, snack, etc.  I'm just posting the last few days meals :)

    Mmmm.  Blacky black beans (yes, I FINALLY used the last of um' tonight for dinner), corn, purple cabbage, snap and green beans, mushroom with garlic; creamy Bulgar with Earth Balance.
Thank you to my awesome mom, I am now the proud owner of a new Red Kitchen Aid Immersion Blender; thank you, mom!  I've been wanting to use it to blend my oats, hummus, smoothies and more instead of getting the whole food processor dirty!

    Snack.  Gala apple; soft cashews; "snickerdoodle babies" and US vanilla almond milk

  Bfast before work @ 6 yesterday morning: Pumpkin, banana, almond butter, almond milk smoothie, "Love muffins" with PB; mixed nuts

...Yes, I do, I LOVE my fats-- MUSFA (monounsaturated fatty acids!)...I can't go a meal without them.  They're so good for my brain, cells, and whole body from top to bottom and help me do my day- to day activities.  They friends not foes!

    And some really cute clothes I got @ urban outfitters the other day, you like?
  Up- close- and personal shot of the beauteous skirt from UO-- for only $19.99, such a bargain :)

Goodnight, loves.... i'm off to bed to prepare for my early swim class (we don't swim the first day, but still...)


Friday, August 27, 2010

Hi, my name's Emilia and I'm a Whole Foods-aholic

.....But who isn't?  Whole Foods, especially for us "bloggy, nutrition dorks" (in a good way, I promise), is a place of excitement and joy to go to.  For me, it's definitely somewhere I spend a majority of my pay check instead of clothes shopping, spa treatment, vacations or other indulgent activities.  I'm really not joking-- I've been in and out of there three times in the last week.  I get excited when there's new nut butters, new products made by my favorite brands, promotional sales.  

My sister laughs at me and asks why I spend so much of my mula and time there.  Some people just don't get it.   However, us foodies do and so I know I have quite a bit of people out here in the blog world who relate with me :).

Do you feel the same thing-- People just "don't get it"?  The amusement from loving good quality, yummy, whole, natural food?  

While not at Whole Foods or working like madness, I did eat some tasty meals.  

(sorry, bad quality.  I had to rely on my camera phone for this one)
Black beans, white bean guac, sweet potato fries and broccoli over a bed of organic spinach
That's better.
Mondo salad with grilled tofu (marinated in tamari, ginger, sesame oil and gah- lic), eggplant, carrots zucc', summer squash atop a bed of mixed greens and sunflower seeds;  "tortilla chips" (Avorado sprouted wheat tortilla left on the George Foreman too long :); homegrown pear :)

Creamy tofu- pesto pasta with veggies; grapes. 

Thank you, Broccoli Hut. 
Sorry for the HORRIBLE quality again. Another camera- shot.

I baked!  Well, not creatively and spontaneously, but under the care of Chocolate- Covered Katie. Thank you gurl, for sharing your AMAZING, yummy and nutritious recipes con me.  I won't blame you for my paycheck all going to WF, however I can't get away from trying a majority of your recipes.  They're awesome and SOOOO great.  I love putting health into yumminess :).

Tonight I had some free time so I whipped up some "Love muffins".

....And I had one with my dinner tonight-- I couldn't resist trying them.  
Snack time.

"Green smoothie"-- Bananas, handful of spinach, almond butt-ah, almond milk and wheat germ and cinnamon on top; two pieces of toast con peanut butter and cinna :)

 Sweet potatoes, mango, whole made (who- who, NOT canned!) black beans and ginger- peanut dressing; love muffin.
Courtesy of Broc Hut again :)

I also made CCV's  "High- protein chocolate chocolate cake" which isn't pictured.  Click to get the recipe and for the love muffins.  Like I said, it wasn't my creativity.

I just realized HOW MUCH I rely on  some of my fav. blogs to fill my bellies these days.  I just love all of their recipes.  Well done, blogger friends :).

I'm off to bed-- I work at 6:30 am tomorrow morning.  And I'm NOT joking.  

Good night.  And DO comment if your out there :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New York to Tahoe

Good evening (or morning, afternoon....wherever you may be), everybody!

So yes, I know I haven't blogged in like 2- 3 months or something crazy like that.  However, my life has been CRAZY recently, so I have a good excuse as to why. I've traveled from New Jersey- to New York, to Lake Tahoe....and work (Gayle's Bakery) has taken over most of my summer life :-)

I went to New Jersey for two weeks in mid July to visit my Great Uncle who lives in a beautiful estate up there-- with a pool, tennis courts and a lodge guest house.  My family and I also made our way up to NY a couple days to shop, eat and explore the glorious city.  It was an AMAZING trip; I SO wish I could go back.  Vacation is amazing and is one memory away once reality hits.

I also went to Lake Tahoe for four- fun- filled- packed days last week.  It was, too, spectacular.  My family and I and a couple other families camped at a place called Fall and Leaf Lake in Tahoe.  A bit rustic-- I'm not much of camping material, but I had a blast regardless.  Despite the lack of sleep (cold nights and high altitude), hot water, stove, my BED and many other details, it was worth- while and definitely a great experience.  I swam in the COLD lakes, hiked, biked, walked and explored the environment.  I also kept up my tan from back east which I do hope to keep :).

I'll let the pictures do the talking of my vacation (s).  And the food pics will come next :).

My great uncle's pool:)

"Hunter's Lodge"...aka, the guest house

....And a trip to Whole Foods, of course.

Italian food in Jersey.  A must.
(from left) My dad, Alex (my GU friend), My Great Uncle Don, Gale- his secretary (he's a lawyer), me :), my mom, and Gale's husband.

My G. Uncle's BEAUTIFUL home 

The Jersey shore :)

The beach club-- Beaches aren't public in NJ; you have to pay a lot or belong to a fancy beach club. Works for me:)

...."In New Yorrrk, dreams are made of, there's nothing we can do.  Now you're in New Yorrrk, New Yorrrrk."

Now on to a few Tahoe pics...

Fall and Leaf Lake

Hiking on Mount Tallac

I don't know about you, but there's nothing like the smell of pine trees, dirt, rocks and the environment of Tahoe.  That in it's self makes up for the lack of sleep :)

Even though I've been on-the-go most of the summer, I have managed to eat some tasty ol' meals to nourish myself.  Yum, yum.

Some kind of yogurt mess con banana, coco powder, greek yogurt, pb....

Organic whole milk (yes, i like my fat and I don't skim on it); hummus- avocado (thank you, Sabra) sandwich con spinach; grapes; carrots and peanut butter

A snack for me-- don't worry, that's not a meal :)
Grilled tofu marinated in Annie's shitake- mushroom dressing; shrooms and zucc; broccoli slaw

Black beans, onions and shrooms a top a bed of spinach; tortilla chips and sabra hummus; milk

Dill, asparagus, and shroom omelet; toast con PB; grapes

Smoothie con blueberries, banana, vanilla soy protein, US vanilla almond milk and oats

Whole- wheat organic spaghetti with TVP (textured- soy protein), marinara sauce, onions, basil, nutritional yeast and Parmesan cheese; salad with avocado and tomato. YUM.

Hello, scrambled tofu and fruit with wheat germ :)

Organic cornmeal pizza with Parmesan, basil, spinach, squash, tomato and avocado; salad with sunflower seed, beets and carrots; wild, Alaskan salmon (yes, I do eat some fish-- only sustainable and wild).  And yes, Annie's Goddess IS in the background and I DID consume it.  How could I not?

Tofu "fingers/sticks" (courtesy of Broccoli Hut) with ketchup for dipping; zucchini with coconut oil; sweet potato with coconut oil, cinnamon and cashews. DeLish.

Yumers, boy do I love tofu, esp. tofu fingers.  

Ok, the TV is calling my name and I am tirrrred (aka, Giada @ Home).... Goodnight, everybody.  I'll be back soon :)