Dessert for breakfast

June 16, 2010 § 15 Comments

I love it when breakfasts taste like dessert, and my day started out just so.

A Brandi-inspired banana split oatmeal sundae. My banana kind of fell apart when I was trying to slit it down the middle, so I tried to cover up the ugliness with loads of oats and yogurt. I smeared one half of the banana with sunflower butter, and the other half with raspberry jam. Then I topped it with 1/4 cup oats cooked in water and a dash of salt. Now, here’s the impulsive thing I did this morning. I spiked my oats with a few drops of almond extract. It. smelled. heavenly. It gave the oats such a refreshing taste to it too! For extra creaminess, I layered some homemade Greek yogurt on top of the oats, adorned with fresh blackberries and April’s protein brownie batter.

And of course there’s cinnamon. Lots and lots of it. In my world, there’s no such thing as too much cinnamon. I think I ❤ cinnamon almost as much as I ❤ dark chocolate.

Going along with the almond theme, I made myself a huge cup of Teeccino Herbal Coffee–Amaretto style.

Actually, I have this almost every morning. I’m not a huge coffee drinker (I try to stay caffeine-free), and when I do, I go for decaf. Of course there are those days where I just need that extra boost of mental power, but I usually opt for tea.

I do like coffee, that is, when it is loaded with milk and spices and a dash of sweetener. I was very excited when I discovered Teeccino a couple of years ago at my local grocery store, and all their flavors have not disappoint me yet. Here’s a long blurb from their website:

Every cup of Teeccino is brimming with nutritious health benefits that are naturally released during brewing from Teeccino’s herbs, grains, fruits and nuts. These nutrients are quickly absorbable from brewed Teeccino because the nutrients are suspended in liquid so digestion isn’t needed to remove them from fiber.In many ways, Teeccino rebalances the negative effects of coffee. For instance, Teeccino is excellent for people with digestive health conditions because it is non-acidic and contains the prebiotic, inulin. Inulin is a soluble fiber from chicory root that supports a healthy population of beneficial digestive flora, so necessary for good digestive health.

Coffee, on the other hand, is highly acidic and along with its caffeine content, coffee can over-stimulate the digestive tract aggravating health problems for people with gastrointestinal conditions like acid reflux and IBS.

Another example is heart health. Teeccino provides two heart-healthy nutrients, potassium, an electrolyte mineral, and soluble fiber. Potassium helps prevent strokes and high blood pressure. Soluble fiber lowers total cholesterol. Drinking several cups of Teeccino daily provides nutrients that support good cardiovascular health.

Caffeine, however, is a central nervous stimulant that makes the heart beat faster and can increase blood pressure. Coffee drinking has been shown to increase blood pressure in sensitive individuals. Caffeine’s effect on heart beats can stress the heart in people who have heart conditions. Decaf coffee has been shown to raise cholesterol and produce the “jitters” even though it has less caffeine than regular coffee.

Energy is the reason why many people drink coffee. With Teeccino, people experience an energy boost that comes from nutrients, not stimulants like caffeine. A cup of Teeccino keeps energy steady and balanced, but won’t provide that spike and subsequent crash that you can experience from too much coffee. Although many people drink coffee to get “energy”, they are really putting themselves in a state called “flight or fight syndrome”, which is a stress response that triggers alertness along with a host of stress reactions throughout the body. Getting off of the caffeine rollercoaster ride of sudden highs followed by lows in energy is one of the benefits of drinking Teeccino!

There’s also that thing about caffeine negating the absorption of nutrients, and hence I typically try to stay away from coffee while consuming a meal. Getting back to the point, I really recommend Teeccino to everyone!

Ironically, I couldn’t help myself but grab an overpriced cup of joe during my lunch break today, the decaf course.

Tall decaf skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte. Again, going with the cinnamon trend. Oh, why did I wait so long to try you? I’ve been sticking to the plain vanilla lattes for too long!

I also had a bite of thinkThin Chocolate-Covered Strawberry bar to go along with the coffee.

My thoughts? 😦 I thought they would at least have dried strawberries in there! Instead, there was a funky strawberry taste.

Well guess what. Today was yet another long day in ze lab. Seriously, 10+ hours a day? I feel like I need a break in the middle of the week! I’ve also been resortin to uber unhealthy eating because I stay so late in the lab. Constant snackage when I got a minute to spare, and going for the high carb/high fat/high sugar grubs. E.g., cookies. 😦

I also haven’t been cooking as much since I always return home tired, grumpy, hungry, and not wanting to stand any longer in the kitchen having been on my feet for the entire day already.  Tonight I again went for the easy stuff for dinner: frozen meals.

Amy’s Indian Palak Paneer and Mattar Paneer.

These are quite tastey and not as bad as other frozen meals but I’d rather eat freshly prepared food.

At least I made a smoothie in my Buddha Bowl:

What went in the blender: (made 2 huge portions)

  • 1 whole frozen sliced banana
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup kefir
  • 1 cup soymilk
  • splash of H2O
  • a handful of ice cubes
  • Amazing Grass Chocolate Infusion

This felt soooo refreshing after a long day of work!

With that, I will leave you guys pondering over this:

Tell me if you have any brilliant interpretation of this! 😀

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Om Shanti

June 4, 2010 § 6 Comments

And no, I do not mean that by the Bollywood film “Om Shanti Om.”

The Aum (Om)– Hindu


“Charged with religious energy, this most sacred of Sanskrit syllables is often articulated at beginning and end of recitations and prayers.”

True, I usually start my morning yoga practices with Om. It reminds me that for the next 1.5 hours or so, my mind is focused on my practice and not thinking: “Oh I wonder what I should have for breakfast..” or “What should I do after work today? Maybe bake some cookies?” I also end my practice by thanking the spirits/gods/supernatural beings/Mother Earth for giving me the energy that day to guide me through my practice, for having yoga in my life, for letting yoga guide me through calmly through the weathers and storms of life, and for the wonderful people I have around me.

And then lastly, I close with Om shanti shanti shanti, which literally means Om peace, peace peace. What I usually do is that on the first shanti, I imagein myself filled with a peaceful energy. On the second shanti, I imagine that energy spreading to my family, friends, and those I know. Lastly, on the third shanti, I see in my mind that same energy disperse to everyone living on this planet, for we are all born and raised by Mother Earth.

I truly enjoy my morning yoga practices because I just love the feeling of doing Sun Salutations to the rising sun. And then when I finish my practice with Savasana (corpse porse), the sun has fully risen and the chirping of birds are like music to my ears while I lay on my mat. Ahhh…the beauty of morning practices 🙂

Anyways, so last night I had a spontaneous creation involving tempeh. I am still perfecting the recipe but what I would tell you is that it involved maple syrup, cinnamon, and sunbutter. I simply marinated raw TJ’s 3-Grain tempeh in that sauce for about an hour or so, flipping in between. Then I sauteed the marinated tempeh in a skillet lightly coated with cooking spray.

This morning, I created this sandwich to pack for my lunch:

Kind of looks like nuggets don’t it? The sandwich component was Multigrain Sandwich Thins, a bed of arugula, maple-cinnamon-sunbutter tempeh (gotta think of a new name for that too), and lastly a few slices of Harvarti cheese. I microwaved the sandwich at work today so that the sandwich thins were slightly warmed and the cheese slightly melted.

HOLY YUM! This was TO DIE FOR! Trust me. This combination may seem a little absurd at first, but cooking is all about experimenting right? Like Allie, I found this combo weird but YUMMILICIOUS! 😀

Today’s dinner was a lazy almost no-cook dinner, featuring Amy’s Pesto Pizza.

On the side I served steamed broccoli, which was tossed with some olive oil, lemon juice, and Spike Vegetable Seasoning.

I had 1/4 of the pizza and lots o’ broccoli! I was saving my stomach for the dessert I’m about to share with you guys!

It all started this morning, when I was craving some sort of strawberry frozen yogurt. Again, I’m still experimenting. My first batch this morning was kind of too runny, almost like strawberry kefir. So tonight, I added some xanthum gum to thicken the grub up. In the food processor went frozen strawberries, plain nonfat yogurt (may try Greek yogurt), honey, xanthum gum. The results? Take a look.

Better, but still not perfect. I might throw in a handful of ice next time. This totally tamed my frozen yogurt craving earlier though!

Tonight is a night of bumming around and vegging out! Sometimes I just like quiet Friday evenings for relaxation!

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+ Are you a fan of Bollywood films? Which ones have you seen? I’ve seen a few here and there. All I can say is that they’re kind of ridiculous, but sort of fun to watch. 🙂

+ Frozen dinners/meals–love it or hate it? I’ve tried a few Amy’s Kitchen products and so far I’ve been pretty impressed! They’re all organic and don’t taste like airplane food. They’re kind of pricey though, so I only get them once in awhile.

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