informational overload

Ohhh where to start! Snack fail?  Nutritional yeast?  My foot?  Swimming?  Running technique?  Hemp protein? Ahhh!  I guess I’ll start with breakfast…I have no plan for this post, so hopefully it is not completely out of control :) 

Clear mug oats!

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Typical oats with naner + 1/2T chia seeds – topped with: Heather’s jam + PB + cacao bliss + Custom Choice Cereal

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With a side of coffee. 

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Apple snack.  CRUNCH.

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I hadn’t been to the store in awhile, so we were out of a lot of fresh produce.  I had to get creative with lunch.  It started with the idea of black eyed peas, elephant garlic, tomato paste, and spinach. 

[yes I stuck spinach in the bean can for this photo ;)]

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Elephant garlic [from our local farmer’s market] is larger than typical garlic.  It has a sweeter + milder flavor and apparently you should probably refrigerate this guy or at least store in a cool, dark, dry place.  ie: not on your window sill, oooops…mine molded.  Scratch the fresh garlic.

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I hardly ever use frozen veggies, however I try to keep them on hand when I run out of fresh.  I’ve never tried frozen peppers before.  I was really impressed!!  Great when in a pinch for sure!

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I made sweet tater fries with:

  • 1 small sweet tater
  • s+p
  • olive oil

Bake @400* until soft inside/crispy outside

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So what the heck is in that pile???  And was it good?

  • West Soy 5 grain tempeh [the best!]
  • spinach
  • black eyed peas
  • peppers
  • tomato paste
  • garlic powder
  • pepper grinds
  • water
  • soy sauce

Topped with 1/2 avocado.

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It was actually pretty darn tasty!!!  I love when my “throw it all in pan” method works.  The soy sauce + tomato paste flavors went well together.  I used about 3T tom past + 3T water to turn it more saucy.  The only thing I would have omitted were the beans.  I didn’t like the texture of them with the tempeh.  Would have been better leaving out 1 or the other. 

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Dark chocolate covered pomegranates from Trader Joe’s…SO good.  They are similar to choco covered raisins but a little sweeter and they have a little crunch to them.  The pom seed is dried..there is no burst of juice [which would be fun!].  I had about 2T of these..yummm

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1] the new CLIF C bar – what made me buy this?

  • the ingredient list was good
  • 70% organic
  • lots of nuts

My thoughts:

  • gross, I couldn’t even finish it
  • it’s like a limp Larabar
  • flavor was too sweet
  • tasted fake

I handed it to the husband:

  • he gave me a face like he ate something sour and said “meh”

It got pitched.  I hate wasting food…but I hate eating things that taste gross.

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It was just TOO soft.  Blegh.  I’m really not a fan of CLIFbars at all.  I thought I would give this a shot because of the better ingredient list.  Why don’t I like the other CLIF bars?  Well, while they do fill you up, I haven’t found any that I actually enjoy eating.  Besides the flavors being “not so hot” in my book, what I like even less are their ingredient lists and use of processed soy.

Just not a huge fan of this, but to each their own.  This is just my opinion :) So many good bars out there, with much shorter lists but there are lots of CLIF lovers and I don’t judge!

INGREDIENTS: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract], Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour), Organic Rolled Oats, Soy White Chocolate (Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Cocoa Butter, Soy Flour, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavors), Organic Toasted Oats (Organic Oats, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice), Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, ClifCrunch® (Organic Oat Fiber, Inulin [Chicory Extract], Organic Milled Flaxseed, Organic Oat Bran, Psyllium), Macadamia Nuts, Organic Soy Butter, Organic Macadamia Nuts, Organic Date Paste, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt. [source]

I will say that I do like the Clif Shot Bloks for energy boosts during long runs.  They are much tastier than Goo’s and were easier on my stomach.  The ingredient list was much more pleasing for those too.

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FAIL #2]  While I love most of the Voskos flavors, blueberry left much to be desired.  It had a fake taste.  I threw it out too :(  Aaaand I had a 2nd container of the honey vanilla bean that was actually spoiled.  It was a rough day in Ashley snack land!!

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Fail #3] I did choke this one down.  Plain SF Oikos + granola + almond butter whisked with almond milk

I did not enjoy the combo of yogurt + AB….blegh!  However, I was not about to throw out more food!  I’m definitely going to tell WF about the spoiled Voskos..they are usually really good with problems like that.

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Aaaaand I’m off to the pool!!! With a quick stop at REI, to pick up a suit, I’m ready to go!  Which suit did I get?  Well, there were 3 different styles and 3 different brands.  I tried on a TYR [$74], ZOOT[$85], and Sugoi[$65].  For once, the cheapest option was the best!  The TYR + Zoot both did not feel good on.  The TYR’s straps were too thick and I could tell would rub/dig into me and the next size up was too big.  The Zoot just felt strange.  It came up much higher towards my neck than I am used to. 

What I liked about the Sugoi:

  • most comfortable
  • most flatter, not that I really care about that
  • no rubbing from straps
  • dried really quickly when I got out of the pool
  • lightweight

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It gets great reviews on REI’s website.  [source]

Sugoi Swim Racer Contrast Swimsuit - Women's

So how did my dip in the pool go?  Great!!  I swam for 35min, taking many short breathing breaks.  I switched off from freestyle, breast stroke, and the back stroke.  I tried to focus during freestyle on taking it nice and slow and getting my body into proper alignment.  I read over Ryan’s guest blog post over at The Healthy Tipping Point, from a few weeks ago.  I never swam competitively but have always been an okay swimmer.  We had to swim in high school..did you guys?  That was THE worst!  I was a lifeguard for a few summers and at Ohio State I took a swimming gym class.  Helloooo easy A :)  I really enjoyed that class but it’s easy to forget good swimming form. 

I could tell I need more work and can’t wait to get back in the pool.  My foot felt great while swimming, which I was happy about.  In general my foot is feeling much better than the other day.  I’m no longer limping around, but I still have a waaaays to go!  I re-read Ryan’s post swimming post Part 1 last night and then read Part 2 this morning.  Definitely helped!


Completely random dinner!

Hmmm…any guesses?

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This happens to be THEE most amazing cheese sauce I have ever tasted.  However, there is no cheese in it.  Confused?  Enter “nutritonal yeast.”  I don’t like the name of that and have heard it called “yeshi” which I like much more.  There is a lot of information online about yeshi, so I will let you do some research.  But basically it’s used by vegetarians + vegans in making substitute cheese/dressing/topping recipes.  It does have nutritional benefits as well.  I’m not really one for substitute cheese, however this is different.

I got this idea from Averie, over at Loves Veggies and Yoga.  You can find the recipe for her Raw Vegan Kale Chips here

Ingredients include:

I added 1/4c. water to mine to thin it out.  I also did not pre-soak the cashews because I didn’t realize it called for that.  I omitted the agave.

I know this sounds crazy…and I thought it was going to be “good,” but never imagined HOW good.  I put all the ingredients in my vitamix and let ‘er rip.  What resulted was the above pictured creamy “cheesy” goodness that tasted like nacho cheese dip.  I kid you not.  I was licking this up like it was cake frosting.  I guarantee that if you put this on a table with tortilla chips your friends would beg for the recipe and have no idea cheese was not an ingredient. 

It was smooth + creamy and could be put on a slew of foods…oh my gosh.  I saved 1/2 of the batch to use during the week.  Sorry for the long explanation about this but it was THAT good.  Chris gave me an “oh wow” face.  I always gauge things by if Chris likes them.  I tend to like a little more outlandish food so he lets me know when something is really delicious.

So I mixed this in with washed + chopped kale, set my oven to 250* and let it cook for about 30-35min.  It’s important to keep the oven temp down because you don’t want the kale to cook too quickly and you need to allow ample time for the "sauce to dry and get crispy. 

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Chris and I scarfed the whole bunch of kale.  I literally inhaled it. 

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While I was devouring the kale, I had something else going on for dinner as well.  I really didn’t feel like a conventional dinner and I happened to find organic rolled rye flakes at Natural Grocers.  A 1lb bag was $.75!!  You can’t even buy a pack of gum for that price. I had to try it out.  Downside is it takes about 30min of simmering to cook.

I cooked it with almond milk + water and let it go.  I only gave it 2 stirs but noticed it was getting quite gelatinous.  I was kind of scared because I hate when that happens with oats.  However, as it continued to cook it got a little less gel-like.  I also mixed cinnamon + vanilla and applesauce at the end to fluff it up.  I definitely like oats better, but these were not bad at all!  Would be a fun mix-in for homemade granola too.

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What else was I up to?  Well, I bought coconut Kefir for the first time because it was on sale.  I blended~1/2c kefir with frozen strawberries + blueberries.  That went in the bowl and I was going to top it with the hot rye flakes.  Possible disaster in the works!

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I drizzled PB + cacao bliss on top as well.  Ooooh a new take on SIAB!!!  This was sooo delicious!  I loved the hot/cold contrast.  The cold made the oats firm up a bit and the smoothie part got kind of soupy.  Weird sounding?  Maybe.  Delicious?  Yes.

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Aaaand later a snack! Custom Choice Cereal + almond milk.  mmmmm

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My gooodness…this post is already long enough..I can’t bore you with the other things I want to talk about at this point.  

Okay okay..well 1 more thing.  I am declaring next week HOMEMADE week.  I want to focus more on making things from scratch and less store bought items…especially for things like nut-butters, which sound SO easy to DIY!  I’m open for suggestions on things you’d like to see me make and I already have a few ideas as well.  I’m pretty pumped about this :)  Feel free to join in with the homemade fun as well and let me know what you’ve got cookin!

some idears:

  • vanilla extract
  • bread
  • nut-butter
  • graham crackers [continued from where I left off the other week]
  • cereal
  • crackers