July 25, 2010 § 22 Comments
The banana pancakes this morning kept me full for 4 full hours! It must be the combination of bananas plus whole grains and some protein! Definitely a keeper of a recipe.
As if we didn’t get enough eggs last night, the star of my lunch today were…eggs.
I used Allie’s method of cooking her eggs, and by golly, they indeed turned out beautiful! How shameful of me to cover them in nooch before I took a picture to do them justice. 😐
The eggs were on a bed of spinach and arugula, with some sugar snap peas, red pepper, roasted eggplants, and roasted sweet potatoes on the side. Can’t have roasted sweet potatoes without the ketchup!
I don’t know what took me so long to try date + nut butter, but it totally blew me away when I popped this bite-sized dessert in my mouth!
Like what any normal person would do on a lovely Sunday afternoon, we window-shopped at this beautiful outdoor mall called Victoria Gardens in the P.M.
I guess my legs were a bit tired and sore from the long-a$$ bike ride yesterday, so we came home for some splashing in the pool. While we were in the jacuzzi (hot tub) to end our splashing session, these two little girls (3 and 7 maybe?) joined us. At first I was playing with them, so I cupped my hands to get some foam and blew it at them. You know, for fun. They returned the foam blowing. At first it was just friendly and fun, and then they started to get violent! They’d put the foam on my head and pat my head, hard. They also splashed me in my face with the warm water :(. Now that’s not cool. I know, I know, they’re just kids, and I do love playing with kids. But sometimes they need to know when they’re stepping out of the line!
- 3 La Tortilla Low-Carb tortillas
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 white onion
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup feta
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- salt & pepper
But first, the onion broke my fragile little heart. It laughed at me as I shed tears and cursed at it.
Well, I’m a tough girl so for my sweet revenge I sauteed it with some mushrooms in a little olive oil. I added the spinach to block out its glistening, golden eyes. I dumped everything onto the “crust” that was simply 3 layers of tortillas, and buried the onion deeper with the feta cheese.
I mixed the 2 eggs plus the yogurt in a bowl and whisked till well incorporated. I poured the egg mixture over everything.
I put the okras that I got on Thursday to use. I usually eat them steamed with some soy sauce, but this time I decided to roast them. It was a good plan 😀
A wholesome meal!
Oh onions, why must you cry and turn the crust soggy? Well, I believe the yogurt was his accomplice too. See, I used plain yogurt which contained more water than your regular greek yogurt. Gosh darn it, I should have strained the plain yogurt first!
Now go and enjoy your Sunday evening!
+ What are you favorite shops at the mall?
July 22, 2010 § 5 Comments
My mom sent me an email filled with hilarious cartoon clips a couple days ago. Sometimes we all need to fill our days with more laughter…:lol:
Get a healthy body and mind with laughter!
- Reduces stress hormones (cortisol and epinephrine) and increases health-enhancing hormones (endorphins and other neurotransmitters)
- Good physical and emotional release
- Get those abs by laughing, ’cause you’ll be working out your diaphragm, abs, and even your shoulders
- Leave muscles more relaxed
- Distraction to negative feelings (anger, stress, guilt)
- Encourages more “light-hearted” perspectives and optimism
- Helps you become a social butterfly! Everyone loves someone who smiles and laughs!
…and of course I can’t talk about laughter and not watch another one of Mary Poppins’ songs:
After having had a good laugh, I started my morning with a bowl of fruit yogurt madness:
Yogurt, banana soft-serve, mangoes, blueberries, and toasted bread. Hallelujah! 😀
Dinner was a simple one, which I already whipped up yesterday! Cold pasta salad!
This dish had whole wheat penne pasta, broccoli, chunks of mozzarella, roasted eggplants, chopped tomatoes, olives tossed in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper, lemon juice, honey, and white wine vinegar.
All I did tonight was microwaved some peas and made some carrot fries.
Yumyum carrot fries!
Don’t you just love simple, fast dinners?
Not to mention the pasta salad was cold and well-marinated since it sat in the fridge overnight. For once I wasn’t sweating in the kitchen while cooking! 😎
Off to Thursday night Farmers market now! Summer seems to be a big Farmers market season. Hope I’ll get some cheap finds!
Hasta la vista amigas(os?)!
+ Do you guys have any good jokes to share? 😀
July 20, 2010 § 35 Comments
Yes, everyone can do yoga, even if you are the most inflexible person on the face of the planet. My favorite pose out of thousands of yoga poses is easily this:
Savasana is a pose of total relaxation, in which your body is in the most natural and neutral position. It is mostly used at the end of a yoga practice for the body to relax its muscles after usage and for the mind to savor the blissful moments of yoga. In our high-stress, fast-paced world today, everybody needs a little savasana now and then.
- Calms the mind and eases stress
- Relaxes the body
- Reduces headaches, fatigue, and insomnia
- Helps lower high blood pressure
Well, it definitely is not called “corpse pose” for no reason! In this position, you should be as limp as a dead person, your breath so still that you can barely hear it yourself, and your muscles so relaxed that you feel like your entire body is sinking to the floor beneath you.
- Lie down on a comfortable spot (duh). Make sure you got plenty of space around you so you don’t feel cramped.
- Check the alignment of your body. Make sure your legs are angled evenly in respect to the mid-line of your body, and let your feet fall naturally to either sides. Your pelvis should be resting lightly on the floor. With your hands, lift the the base of the skull away from your neck and and release the back of your neck towards your tailbone (you can use a folded towel to support your neck too).
- Let your shoulders, arms, and back relax. Imagine yourself sinking. If it helps, reach your arms toward the ceiling, perpendicular to the floor, to help broaden your back and shoulders. Then release back down. Rest the back of your hands gently on the floor and release any tension.
As simple as this pose may seem, it is harder than you thought. Sure, all you are doing really is lying on the floor in some sort of spread-eagle style, but willing your body for total relaxation is not such an easy task. After years and years of practice, I still struggle with Savasana. Sometimes my mind will be racing, thinking about what to wear for the day, what to eat for breakfast, and going through my mental to-do list. Sometimes my muscles are still contracting, subconsciously.
However, over the years I have developed a mental checklist before I delve into Savasana.
Step 1: After you’ve lied down on your back (as described above) and aligned yourself, take a few deep breaths. Inhale into your tummy, and exhale through your mouth. With each exhale imagine the tension and stress being released from your body.
Step 2: Starting from the top of your head, scan your body mentally to make sure every inch of you is relaxed.This is where it gets interesting, because what you think is a “relaxed” state isn’t really. Soften your forehead, your eyebrows, the root of your tongue, the wings of your nose, the channels of your inner ears, and the skin on your face. Let your eyeballs sink towards the back of your head, and give in entirely to gravity.
Step 3: Clear your mind as if you’re about to enter a deep slumber. But don’t fall asleep! It’s a tough trick to achieve the balance between falling asleep and maintaining an awaken mind. If thoughts arise in your head, don’t force it away. Instead, observe it as if you’re an outsider, and watch it subside. You’ll find that your thoughts are really like waves. They come and go, some large some small.
I like to do a little 5-min Savasana before I go to bed each night. Not only does it help me relax my entire body, it sort of “prepares” me for bed. Something like a “transition” from being awake to going to sleep. It tells my mind and body that it’s that time of the day to rest. I’m generally a very light sleeper, and I find that this little exercise before bed helps me fall into a deeper slumber 100% better! If I don’t do this pre-bed ritual, I’ll fall asleep but not be as rested.
+ Do you have a “pre-bed ritual” that you like to do?
After my Savasana of the morning, which follow my yoga practice, I needed some refueling to tackle the day. I’m glad to announce that Ms. Buddha Bowl is back! 😀
It’s a yogurt-cottage cheese banana soft-serve fruit bowl with french toast waffle sticks! Whew, long name. Okay, so from bottom to top:
- ~ 2 tbsp plain nonfat yogurt (all that I had left 😦
- 1/3 cup cottage cheese
- banana soft-serve using 3/4 of a medium banana
- sliced fresh strawberries and fresh blueberries
- French toast waffle sticks
For the french-toast waffle sticks I used Van’s Wheat free/Gluten free Blueberry Waffles. I cut them into strips and dunked them into an egg white mixture of about 1/4 cup egg whites, cinnamon, vanilla, and a splash of almond milk. I cooked them on a pan sprayed with butter spray till crispy and browned. Yumyumyum! 😀
The banana soft-serve + cottage cheese + yogurt combo made the perfect dipping sauce for the french toast waffle sticks!
I don’t usually take pictures of my lunch, since they’re usually leftovers from the night before. When I do have interesting lunches I always share! But for now…
Hi, my name is Elaine and I’m addicted to jam + cheese sandwiches.
I was totally going to make a kick-butt dinner tonight, but I got home late and my laziness settled in. I usually just want to whip up something quick ‘n’ easy when the clock is ticking close to 7 o’clock.
+ Do you have a time that is “too late” to make fancy dinner that requires alot of assembly, chopping, standing by the stove, etc?
Needless to say, roasted broccoli is the staple quickie dinner veggie (for me at least).
I also had some more leftover roasted butternut squash.
But what made the dinner interesting was this:
Some sort of eggplant roll-up? So I got the idea of rolling up eggplant from Jenny (who is a big MJ fan btw :-)). I wanted to roast some eggplant. But I also wanted to eat the tempeh I got last weekend. I also didn’t want cheese.
Please don’t judge me. I don’t know where I got the crazy lady idea of rolling the eggplant with tempeh.
I cut up some TJ’s 3 grain tempeh into bite-sized chunks and microwaved them till warm. I then put one little chunk in the middle of each slice of roasted eggplant, topped with TJ’s Garlic Marinara sauce, and rolled them up with more marinara sauce on top. Oh, and don’t forget that my dinner was doused in nutritional yeast.
Like I was saying, please don’t judge me. It was delish and satisfied my “tempeh-tooth.” I must admit that the first time I tried tempeh I was slightly taken aback by its pungent flavor. But I’ve come to love it! I love the grainy texture and the slightly nutty taste. It’s filling and high in protein too!
Before I go, I’ll leave you with this:
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with some crispy green seedless grapes.
July 11, 2010 § 14 Comments
I’m glad you all enjoyed the kite post yesterday! Sometimes we need to let go of the thought that we are “adults” and indulge our inner child. Sometimes we just need to believe that fairies exists and that pixie dusts can make magic.
A grownup is a child with layers on.
In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.
I am going to unashamedly admit that I still sneak into children’s playgrounds at times and play on the swing like there’s no tomorrow.
So, when I went for a run this morning, I did a very, very daring thing: I ran without my iPod. Usually, my iPod pumps me through my run and keeps my mind occupied. As I stepped outside the door today, the air was just so fresh and the morning so calm that I couldn’t afford to have music blasting in my ears. I decided to run with Nature.
It felt good, to hear my own footsteps, to listen to my breathing, and notice the birds chirping. These are things that I normally don’t pay attention to when I have my iPod glued to my ears. It was quote refreshing actually 😉
I’ve been dreaming of pancakes every since last weekend, so today I finally decided to make my dreams come true. Enters…Banana Oat Pancakes! My first-ever pancake recipe that I came up with. Actually, just my first-ever doughy-type of recipe that I came up with. It’s almost vegan, if not for the yogurt I added in. I even used “flax-egg”! 😀
BANANA OAT PANCAKES
(makes 2 large or 6 mini ones)
- one medium banana, mashed
- 2 tbsp yogurt
- 1/4 cup milk of your choice (I used soymilk)
- 2 tbsp flax meal
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1 tsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon…or more!
- 1-2 tbsp whole wheat flour
I first blended all the wet ingredient in the food processor, added the dry ingredient and blended till everything was smooth. Drippity-drip-drip the batter onto a pan, cook ’em up, and out came pancakes!
Perhaps not the type of pancakes that would win the pancake pageant, but hey, it was delicious and satisfied my craving for some doughy, bananalicious pancakes ;-). I made one big one plus one mini one for myself, and the other three mini ones I gave to Dmitri. No I am not starving him, he already had breakfast of bread + nutella. Don’t go report me to the police for boyfriend abuse now! 😀
I had my pancakes with a nice little plum and the last of my yogurt. The plum was so sweet! I had to rummage through my fridge to get my second one afterwards. I love summer fruits! I smeared the big boy pancake with some sunflower seed butter and some Blue Diamond’s All Natural Crunchy Almond Butter.
Love the crunch against my smooth pancakes! Plus, the ONLY ingredient in this nutty butter is…ALMONDS! No added sugar, preservatives, or oil. Plain natural!
Much lazying around, doing laundry, a little work here and there, and I was ready for lunch. Today was definitely a warm day in Southern California, and so I was craving a light, crunchy salad for lunch.
After reading Kelsey’s post on her Raw Summer Salad yesterday, I found myself craving some too! Veggies = romaine lettuce, onions, mushroom, cucumbers, and avocado. Protein = pan-seared tofu in soy sauce + honey. Carbs = corn.
I pretty much followed Kelsey’s recipe for the dressing, except I added in a bit of honey. I also “massaged” the salad with avocado to make everything creamy. Thanks Kelsey for this wonderful recipe! ❤
Today was the day that my car finally, FINALLY gets a proper wash. I don’t think I’ve washed it since…um…….
Well, point-in-case is that I’ve been relying on the rain to wash my car. What? Rain in California? Um yes. It literally pours the heck out of the sky during the winter months. This year was particularly bad that I had to get rainboots.
But alas, summer here = hot, dusty, dry.
Spinky, spanky clean.
I actually went to one of those self-serve car wash place to save $$$, because (1)those automatic car washes doesn’t do the job; (2) hand-wash services are so friggin’ expensive; and (3) I don’t have to equipment at home to wash my car. It’s so clean now that everytime that I look through the windshield, or the rear window, I’d go like WHOA!!! Is this really my car? While some people think that I’m an abnormally clean person, my car somehow is always dirty.
On ’tis day Dmitri and I also had a play date with some of our friends. At 5 o’ clock, actually cool enough to be exercising outside, we headed out to the sand volleyball court on our campus for some bump, set, spike. Well, sometimes more like bump, splat. While I can play for maybe up to 2 hours in court, on sand it’s an entire different story! We were all tired after about 1 hr.
Or are we just getting old?
I wasn’t up to cooking anything big for dinner, and since I wasn’t particularly hungry anyways, I resorted to an everything stir-fry. In vegetable broth, I dumped in Chinese cabbage, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and Lightlife smartdogs.
On the side I finished the last of my silken tofu, eaten raw with some vegetarian stir-fry sauce, ’cause that’s how we roll in Taiwan.
Despite the fact that tomorrow’s a Monday, I’m actually not dreading it! I had a fun yet relaxing weekend, and I feel supercharged to tackle the next week! Plus, a new week means I’m getting closer to finishing my research here and closer to going back home to Taiwan!
Have a greaaaaattt Sunday night folks!
+ What was your favorite childhood game? I loved any playground games: tether ball, jungle gyms, monkey bars, tags, Marco Polo, dodgeball! Sometimes I certainly wish I was 10 again!
+ If you own a car, do you wash it yourself or have somebody else wash it for you? This was actually my first time washing my car. It was fun though, and cheap. I will definitely, DEFINITELY do it again!
July 10, 2010 § 11 Comments
I probably have said this a thousand times here already, but breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day! There are some many variety of healthy concoctions out there that you can create with oats, yogurt, whole-grain bread, cereals, muesli, milk, kefir, eggs, cinnamon, fruits, and…
You get my point.
For the past two days, I’ve been coming up with berry concoctions for breakfast. For example,
Oatie eggwhite pancakes (I made one BIG one this time!) topped with yogurt, Walden Farm’s sugar-free blueberry syrup, frozen strawberries and blueberries. And cinnamon. Never forget cinnamon. I actually used almond extract instead of vanilla like last time. I love the strong aroma of almond!
I don’t know about you, but I sure do enjoy frozen strawberries, blueberries, actually any kind form of frozen fruits just straight out of the freezer. No thawing, no microwaving. Just like eating a popsicle! 😀
Do you eat frozen fruits straight out of the freezer? Or do you have to thaw heat them up first?
Well, this morning, I was feeling berries again.
My carb of the morning was the breakfast cookie that I made last night and stuck in the fridge.
- 1/3 cup oats
- 1 scoop (15 g) chocolate protein powder
- splash of milk to make it stick
- coconut shreds
This morning, I topped it with, surprise! more yogurt. THIS morning, however, I heated up some blueberries and strawberries in the microwave with some Walden Farm’s calorie-free blueberry syrup for 30 sec. Perrrrrrrrfff topping!
The blob of sunflower seed butter says: “I’m on top of the world!” 😀
Are you sick of seeing berries pictures yet?
But wait! I have more! Sorry if this is getting repetitive. By now you’re all probably like, Yes yes, Elaine, we know how much you like berries in your mornings now.
Bear with me.
For Dmitri, I whipped up some French toast with the last 3 pieces of sourdough bread we had. French toast with sour dough actually turned out pretty good!
BOO YA IHOP and Denny’s!
You’ll probably gag if I present you with more breakfasts featuring strawberries and blueberries. No worries, those are all I have for now. I may or may not have more tomorrow :-P.
Let’s move from berries to eggs shall we? For lunch yesterday I packed a semi-egg salad sammie.
Uhhh…semi-egg salad sammie? Yeah, I was too lazy to properly mash up the hard-boiled egg, so I simply sliced them up and lay them on one half of sandwich thin. I made a creamy honey mustard dressing for the other half that consisted of yogurt, honey, and spicy dijon. I threw in some chopped celeries for some extra crunch.
Lunch yesterday was paired with a big tubful of roasted broccoli. Give me the fiber! 😀
‘Twas a delicious, healthy, fiber-full, protein-packed, balanced meal.
What’s on my schedule for this beautiful sunny California weekend?
Dmitri and I will be heading out to Santa Monica Farmers Market right after I hit Publish. I ❤ Farmer’s Market! We have one here in Claremont, but it’s pretty tiny. We also bought a kite for $4 yesterday from Target! So after our Farmer’s Market expedition we’re going to fly it by the beach. I don’t think I’ve flown a kite since I was 12! This will be funfunfun! 😀
See ya later alligators!
+ Flown a kite recently?
June 29, 2010 § 18 Comments
I’m so glad that you guys loved the light cheesecake recipe I posted yesterday. It seriously is delish, and a perfect way to end dinner because it won’t leave you feeling stuffed and sluggish!
Anyways, I found these sweet mugs online today and thought I’d share with you guys:
Just perfect to go with my blog! This store also has lots of other cool yoga-related stuff for some “browser shopping”…haha :-D.
Here are just some other neat finds:
“Anything you do could have serious repercussions on future events.” –Doc Brown from Back to the Future
This morning, I got a little daring in the kitchen and tried Allie’s bread pudding recipe out. I first mixed up one egg (the original recipe calls for one egg + one egg white, but I only had 3 eggs left in the fridge so I didn’t want to waste another one if I’m just going to use the egg white), splash of soymilk, some sweetener, a dash of salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. I placed one Van’s organic frozen waffle into the egg mixture, coating both sides, then covered the bowl with saran wrap and heated it in the microwave for about 1 min.
I then topped the waffle with some frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, and frozen bananas and microwaved for another 30 secs uncovered, till the fruits were soft.
More cinnamon, a drizzle of maple syrup, and some home-strained Greek yogurt completed the dish! Seriously, I should have put a maraschino cherry on top of the yogurt. Sundae anyone?
Work was the usual, except now we’ve been having this high school student around in our lab for the past week or so already. He’s volunteering at our lab to get some research experience, and we took turns coaching him on lab etiquettes, techniques, and some basic biology (he’s never had a biology class before). I feel like I learn more when I teach stuff to other people, because I can’t just mumble out the smoosh of information I have in my brain. I’d have to organize my thoughts and explain in a somewhat logical way. You learn by teaching.
The other day when we were grocery shopping, Dmitri decided we should do a Taco Tuesday. That’s the story how taco shells, taco seasonings, and Yves Vegan Ground Beef ended up in our shopping cart.
For the “ground beef” part, Dmitri (yup he cooked!) sauteed up 3/4 of a chopped onion, added the “ground beef,” some tomato paste, and the taco seasoning and did some stirring. I got busy with washing and chopping the lettuce, chopping the tomato, and whipping up the guacamole.
Not pictured above: sour cream (for him), yogurt (for me), salsa, and shredded cheese.
This totally contradicted the meaning of Taco Tuesday, but I just wasn’t feeling the taco shell at first.
I think I totally nailed the guacamole! First time I made my own guacamole I added too much onion and garlic, resulting in a not-so-creamy guacamole. THIS time I mushed up one large avocado with 1/4 of a chopped onion, half a chopped tomato, a squeeze of lemon juice, some cumin, and S&P. Bye bye Chipotle guacamole!
Just kidding. I still ❤ Chipotle!
LARGE soft taco!
Which transformed into a semi-burrito midway through eating.
I did make myself a taco, just for good measure.
Naturally, a taco or burrito or ANY KIND OF MEXICAN FOOD isn’t complete with a Hugh Jass ton of guacamole.
Dmitri ate 7? 8? tacos. I lost count. This was his last taco of the night, which he declared the prettiest taco he made today.
Purrrdy taco! 😀
I got some sweet and juicy cantaloupe waiting for me in the fridge! Have a great evening!
+ Do you like soft or crunchy tacos?