Dream it. Do it.

It starts with a dream, and ends in a memory.

Fueling for Errands May 24, 2011

Filed under: Eating — Celina @ 8:32 pm

This week is a whirl-wind of activity. There are so many things I still have to prepare, things to do before I’m gone, and people to see. I figure with so many things going on, I need some pretty good food to fuel me. I woke up at 8:00 a.m. this morning and made myself a bowl of oatmeal with banana, strawberries, and one of my Cocoa Almond Bites. I followed this light breakfast with a killer, 500 Rep Workout. What a great way to start the morning? A workout this hard, needs to be followed up by a hearty lunch.

I whipped up an omelette for lunch, and plated it on top of a bed of leftover quinoa with asparagus. I made sure I packed this meal with lots of antioxidant superfoods like spinache, asparagus, and tomatoes. The base of the omelette was about a tablespoon worth of sausage. I sauteed it with spinach before adding in my egg mixture (one egg and two egg whites). When the omelette was set, I sprinkled it with a sparse amount of dairy-free cheese.

This meal was healthy and filling and kept me tied over as I did my many errands. By the end of the day I was absolutely wiped and I came home to great news. More on that later. Right now I’m asking everyone to keep their fingers crossed . . . hopefully the volcano in Iceland won’t result in my flights being cancelled. Positive thoughts please!

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Asparagus Fritter Fish Stack May 13, 2011

Filed under: Eating — Celina @ 11:30 pm

Where's the fritters?

If you’re looking for a way to add some extra vegetable to your meal, then you’ve got to try these fritters. If you’re a fan of potato latkes, or any kind of pancake for that matter, you’ll be a fan of this meal. What exactly is this meal? I’m not to sure. I just got creative and stacked what I thought would be complimentary.

Now you can see the fritters below.

The base was two fritters which were soft, moist, and delicately crispy. The asparagus was complimented subtly by the handfull of chopped dill which really picked up the flavours of the fish, that was stacked on top. I lightly dressed a spinach salad and the acidity really enhanced the taste of the dill as well as of the fish and the asparagus. See where am I going with this? The fish was soft, flaky, and added the perfect amount of salt to tie the whole dish together.

Can you tell that this meal got me excited? Not only was it awesomely healthy, but it was creative and fun to make. I highly suggest you try it yourself. Here’s my version of the fritters. I hope you enjoy it.

The fritter. Yum.

Asparagus Fritters

Adapted from Closet Kitchens

I purposely didn’t add any salt to these fritters because I topped these with a salty fish. If you’re not going to pair these fritters with anything, then season them up just the way you like.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 handful dill, chopped
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (*see note)
  • 2 teaspoons oil
*Note: I used almond flour to make the fritters gluten-free (for my sister). You can use any flour.
Directions:
  • Process the asparagus in a food processor.
  • Mix the asparagus, dill, green onion, flour, and egg such that the mixture holds together. I had to add a bit more flour.
  • Heat the oil in a pan.
  • Spoon the batter into a pan, I made my fritters thin, and cook until brown on both sides. Serve topped with salad and fish or any other combination. 

Enjoy!

 

Fresh Bean, Chicken, and Feta Tostada? May 12, 2011

Filed under: Eating — Celina @ 10:54 am

The lunches I’ve made have always been quite bland. In highschool I remember having sandwiches daily. I had them so often that I got to the point where I went on a sandwich rebellion and told my mom to stop buying deli meat because I would not have sandwiches! Throughout university rarely would I pack sandwiches in my lunch. Besides the monotony of sandwiches, I was also turned off by deli meat. Deli meat and mayonnaise are two things I really do not like, and coincidentally are the two things most commonly found on a sandwich.

After rebelling against sandwiches I found my lunches to be rather blah. Soup. Salad. That’s about as much variety as I got. That is until I started reading Closet Cooking. This awesome blog is written by a guy in Toronto with a similar problem. If you look at how he turned his boring meals around, you’ll be sure to see why I was inspired.

So today, instead of just having chicken with black beans like I did yesterday, I decided to make this meal a little bit more fun. I tried my hand at making a fresh taco-thing. I’ve never really had much Mexican food so I don’t know what this would be called, but I’m going to throw in the word tostada for authenticity. All I know is that the cumin spiced black beans, salty fetta, lemon chicken, and diced tomatoes worked beautifully together. It also looked very pretty, I do believe that presentation is important. For a little bit of sweetness I had a bowl of grapes and watermelon on the side. This was definitely NOT boring!

Black Bean, Chicken, and Feta Tostada?

Serves 1

Don’t be fooled by the picture. This was a small portion. That’s a 6 inch plate which is what I like to eat lunch on to control portions. With a handful of fruits on the side this meal was perfectly filling. 

Ingredients

  • 1 6″-corn tortilla
  • 1/4 cup World Famous Black Beans
  • 1 teaspoon feta
  • 1 palm sized piece of grilled lemon chicken
  • 1 quarter diced tomato

Directions

  • Place tortilla flat on a small plate.
  • Top with black beans mixture.
  • Sprinkle with feta.
  • If using cold/left over chicken then place chicken on top. (If using fresh grilled chicken then warm the beans and feta before adding).
  • Microwave for about one minute so the tortilla becomes soft, the feta melts slightly and the chicken and beans are warmed through.
  • Adorn with diced tomato. Enjoy!
 

Grilled Chicken, Cabbage, and Black Bean Mash May 10, 2011

Filed under: Eating — Celina @ 8:27 pm

I haven’t shared a recipe in quite awhile but when I smelt the pungent aroma of sauteed onions, tomato paste, and black beans that would soon be my lunch I just had to share. Last night I had grilled chicken breasts in a lemon, garlic, oil, and oregano marinade. It was so tender and juicy I dreamed about it. Well, I definitely fell asleep thinking about it.

It was a no brainer that I had leftover chicken and cabbage for lunch but I was really craving a healthy side. Instead of propping the chicken on a crisp bed of lettuce, I decided to try a recipe I’ve been eyeing for awhile. With a name like World Famous Black Beans, I knew this recipe would be a killer.

With the protein and fiber from the beans this meal kept me quite full. It was great fuel for my trail run, and with all the protein and health benefits of this meal, I’m sure it would be great as a post-workout meal. I hope you enjoy it and if anyone wants the recipe for the chicken and cabbage just leave me a comment.

Enjoy the World Famous Black Beans! Are they a killer or what?

 

Energy Bites April 8, 2011

Filed under: Eating — Celina @ 8:05 am

Pecan Bites

I’ve really been focusing on being conscious of what I eat and when I eat it lately. In the past 5 months, my body composition has changed for the better and I am convinced that it is because of my approach to food. I’ve lost fat and built up some great lean muscle; and that’s something that makes me feel lighter and more energized. With school being very busy and my activity level decreased (hopefully only during exam time), I think it is very important for me to focus on eating to sustain my body.


Lucky for me I’ve come across a fantastic blog, Oh She Glows, that has highly nutritious and really delicious vegan recipes. Now I do not live by a vegan diet, I try to focus on having a nutritionally balanced diet of which I believe that meat should be a part of it. However, I do enjoy vegan recipes for baking as they include healthy ways to remove butter and milk. This is great for my lactose-intolerance and makes it easier to indulge in a ‘healthier’ craving.


Something I am always looking for are high energy snacks to fuel my workouts or to have as a post workout snack. At the top of the page is one of those snacks. Packed with pecans, cashews, and dates those little balls are full of healthy sugars and fats, perfect to fuel my workouts or to accompany me on long hikes or even longer days at school.

 

Cocoa Almond Bites

I also tried a cocoa version with almonds and they are absolutely amazing. When I’m low on energy I gobble down one of these bites and am ready to take on the world. The Cocoa Almond bites are great crumbled over a morning bowl of hot quinoa or oatmeal and have the perfect amount of natural sweetness to keep cravings in check. Go to, Oh She Glows, for the full recipes and I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I have.


Check back later this week for information about the gear for my trip. I’ve been teaming up with Novack’s for all my  Arctic needs and they’ve been great. More to come on that!

 

Eating More Often: A Lunch Example March 17, 2011

Filed under: Eating — Celina @ 10:25 pm

When I wake up in the morning, and finish my breakfast I move directly to packing my lunch. When I look at what I want to bring for the day there’s lots of things I consider:

a) Do I have a good balance of lean protein, fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

b) I consider when I will be eating and I pack small portions to keep me satisfied.

c) Depending on when I get home, I’ll know if I need to pack 2 or 3 meals with me.

d) What did I eat for breakfast and how full did it make me?

My philosophy about food is to eat whole foods, trying to stay away from processed foods, and to be conscious of where my food comes from. My philosophy about eating is to eat to sustain my energy level, always listening to my body. As a result, I find that eating 4 – 5 meals per day has helped me to feel confident about my body and healthy. Eating always involves listen to my body. If I’m getting full I stop eating. I do my best to never to get that overly full bloated feeling. Also, if my body is telling me that it’s hungry I give it some nourishing food. I find that my body has a bit of a pattern as outlined in the next paragraphs. I eat until just before full, every 3-4 hours. I generally stop eating at 7:00 p.m. but there are always exceptions. This is a really flexible eating style and remember: “Always listen to your body!”. If for some reason I have a bigger meal, I don’t usually get hungry until 5 hours later. Just being aware is really important.

So here is what my day may look like.

7:30 a.m. This is an omelette I had taken a picture of a while ago. It’s usually just a basic one egg and 2 egg white omelette. Although this one just had ham with fruit on the side I like to add in veggies. Some of my favourite mix ins are: spinach (finely chopped), tomatoes, red peppers, and salami. Depending on how hungry I am, I may or may not have some whole grain toast. A breakfast like this usually lasts me 4 hours.

11:30 a.m. When I start getting hungry again, I’ll go for a small meal. I find that a bowl of soup, half a sandwich, or salad works quite well. Today I’m bringing the best split pea soup ever, from Remarks. Made from scratch this soup is loaded with proteins from the split peas without all the preservatives and chemicals you find in a can. It’s my favourite. If the soup isn’t enough I’ve got plenty of fruit which I’ve brought along. (P.S. The soup was definitely enough).

2:30 p.m. My stomach will usually start rumbling around this time so I make sure I’ve got another small meal. Again depending on how hungry I am I’ll either eat one or two nectarines with some kind of lean protein (e.g. chicken, nuts, or beans). Don’t be fooled, that bowl of barbecue soy beans (made at a local St. Thomas store) measures to about a handful. Soybeans pack lots of good fats and protein so this is a great snack. I have such a tiny bowl because it really is quite filling and packs a lot of energy. Don’t make the mistake of eating a lot of something that is healthy, it’s still calories.

Usually I get home from school around 5:30 or 6:30 and I launch into dinner. This dinner has lots of lean protein from the fish, and quinoa is packed with great nutrients. Asparagus is a great way to get all the nutrients from the dark green vegetables. I think it’s great to have a small dinner, but most importantly listen to your body. If I’ve had a long day, burned lots of energy I may need something bigger. If I haven’t done too much I may opt for a smaller meal. Eating slow really helps me understand when I am full and to stop when I get there.

This is a planner I picked up at Walmart. Some notes I include are: How full am I? How do I feel? How hungry am I?

Eating this way can definitely be a challenge. I find if my timing gets disrupted and I get very hungry, I may over eat and that never leaves me feeling good (not to mention how cranky I get). I’m trying to tailor this to my body and I feel that this has been working for me. I always have lots of energy, I’ve slimmed down,  and I don’t often feel tired throughout the day. To help me figure out what eating strategy works well for me I’ve started keeping a food journal. It’s a great way to be accountable for what I eat. When it’s in writing it seems a lot more powerful. For example, writing down that I ate 4 cookies after dinner puts snacking into a whole different perspective. It also allows me to spot trends in my eating. For example do I eat more after a workout? Sometimes. Do I snack as a reward? Yes. Do you eat more at different times of the month? (ladies?) Yes.

I’m nowhere near perfect. There are definitely times when I over eat and if I bake fresh cookies, I also find it hard to stop at one. However, I find it much easier to bounce back from poor eating with this eating plan. This is a learning process and I don’t mind making mistakes.

 

Cravings, cravings. March 8, 2011

Filed under: Eating — Celina @ 11:06 pm

 

This past week I had a craving for . . . French fries. At every meal I imagined myself eating hot, crunchy sticks of potato. Stuck with a nagging conscience saying, “Eat healthy,” . . . my dreams of French fries were destroyed. That is until I discovered an amazing recipe for Baked Pommes Frites from Smitten Kitchen.


After making these crunchy morsels of bliss, I am proud to say that my craving was satisfied. The frites were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Perfect. The greatest thing about them was that I was able to control the oil content, and there was no need for deep frying. Awesome. (Sorry, my computer deleted my pictures of the frites).


To lighten up this meal, I added a nice salad. Use your favourite recipe, but make sure you have a light olive oil and vinegar or simple oil and lemon dressing. As a side the salad was accompanied by these delicious crescent sandwiches, which can be found at Pennies on a Platter. The asparagus was crisp and tender and added the perfect bite to the soft rolls. I substitued the ham for salami which added some great saltiness. Instead of dijon mustard I used a vegetable spread which tasted of charred roasted red peppers. I also opted for reduced fat crescent rolls. You should definitely give these a try.


Always remember, giving in to cravings is fine. Eat in moderation and listen to your body. Cooking your favourite foods also allows you to be in control of what you put into it. Enjoy.

 

 
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