Didn’t Make the Cut

It’s 5pm and I haven’t left my room all day.  I slept through the morning, thanks to halloween party #1.  It’s snowing and gross outside and I really have no desire to leave – really, halloweekend?

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I’m antsy, and I’m dying to do a workout or something to move – but today is my rest day.  And I have to tell myself I need it after 6 days in a row of workouts.  Especially after running 4 miles (without stopping) in under 40 minutes! So I’ll attempt to be productive before halloween party #2 tonight.  Not sure how well it will work out, but blog posting is a start.

As I’m not feeling so original today, I thought I’d take the chance to post some things from the past couple months that didn’t make it to the blog.

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flax crackers. not really a fan.

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failed granola recipe. a waste, but something just really did not taste right.

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black bean brownies! not my recipe, but so delicious.

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cucumber & kraut salad. staple, delicious

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kabocha pumpkin pie. too much filling, and the crust stuck. this one I'm going to try again.

I’m now resigning to un-productiveness.  Time to watch a movie or something before heading out into this disgusting weather. In costume!

Any big plans for halloweekend?

WIAW – Eats & Updates

*sigh of relief*  I’m alive!  In two days – 2 exams, 1 project, 1 essay – done.  And I can relax for a night or two before getting back to the grind stone.  My google reader hates me now, there are over 100 blog posts I have not even looked at.  Which barely ever happens!  But I now have a little time for internet use, so I will reappear at some point.

Since I’ve been studying and stressing like a crazy person, I haven’t really taken very many pictures of my food.  So this edition of What I Ate Wednesday is a compilation of eats from the past week.  And some other things thrown in at the end.  But the food part is more important.

Check out Jenn‘s lovely site to see what’s up at the WIAW link party!

The Eats:

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pumpkin spiced muffin goodness

Somehow I still had to make muffins.  Many people were appreciative.

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delicious oat groats!

the topping/sauce was Katie’s amazing protein frosting. If you have sun warrior, try this, you will not regret it.

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1 egg + 1 egg white, stuffed with chard, topped with squash sauce, and a warm hummus wrap on the side.

The perfect, fluffy, stuffed omelet – I’ve reached the point where I can get it right every time!  This has become a staple high-protein, low-budget, delicious meal.  Sometime in the future, expect an omelet cooking-tutorial.

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spinach pancakes with pre-roasted eggplant & hemp seeds. savory goodness!

Inspired and based on Kristina’s recipe.  Except I used egg whites and spelt flour, added some spices (garam masala!) and downsized the recipe.  I think I’ve finally found a satisfying pancake!  And strangely it’s not even sweet.  Apparently I like my greens more than my sweets?

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this squash was delicious, but gave me some trouble. keep reading to find out.

This is my interpretation of the boy scout motto.  Always have snacks, preferably squash.

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crazy veggie plate!

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this one was carob & peanut flour & pumpkin

return of the giant protein cake!

The Updates:

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if you see this in your TJ's, buy 2. or 3.

I finally decided to give the boxed cake mix pumpkin muffin ‘trick’ a try.  My mix (okay, I de-simplified it a little): 1 box pumpkin bread and muffin mix, 1 can pumpkin purée, 2 milled chia ‘eggs’, 1/4 cup almond milk, 2 t pumpkin pie spice.  I brought them to campus and shared them with some friends – and they got rave reviews.

A few days later, this happened.

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silly little kabocha made my knife slip. ouch.

I was cutting into my perfectly shaped, blemish free (no pics, sorry) kabocha using my roommate’s large knife, which is not super high quality, and definitely not that sharp.  The cut is not pretty, and that bandage barely covers it.  But I’ll spare you the gory details.

That little incident prompted this:

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8" chef's knife, victorinox. not super fancy, but decent and sharp.

Given the amount of squash and other vegetables I prepare, I have debated spending the money on a decent knife.  Seriously, I’ve been thinking about it for weeks!  Hopefully this guy likes vegetables over fingers.

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filter cone coffee love. ceramic > plastic.

This is seriously the most efficient way to make a single cup of coffee.  Minimal time, effort, and cleaning required.  Also, get a ceramic one if you can find one.  Chemical free, and holds the heat better!

I really hope I have time for some real posts this week.  I have so many things I want to write about!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?

Sweet or savory pancakes?

How do you make your single-serve coffee?

Conquering Cravings

First of all, I’m loving all the comments on possible posting topics.  Note that I asked simply to guide for my incredible indecisiveness.  It’s one of those times where I have too many options and not a ton of time, so nothing ends up getting done.  But hopefully that’s done with for now.

[[Keep commenting on this post if you want to make sure you’re added to my upcoming blogroll page!]]

Second order of business(?): You may have noticed that I did not do WIAW.  Why? In all honestly I just really didn’t feel like dragging my camera around and taking the extra time to take pics of everything.  Do not get me wrong, I think it’s a great way to share a day’s worth of eats, but school, midterms, and my own mental health are more important.

Which leads me to the real topic of today’s post – cravings.

[[disclaimer: I am not a health professional, all statements on this page are based on my own personal experience]]

If you say you never crave anything, you are probably lying.  It may not be food related, as I know a good deal of people who just eat when they’re hungry and could care less what they’re actually eating.  But we all crave something.  Comfort, space, warmth, release, sweets – something.

Being the crazy foodie that I am, I crave specific foods all the time. Some of these cravings are really weird – like kale… And some are quite typical, like chocolate.

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[[source]]

So here’s the big question: when is a craving really a craving, and not just a desire to eat for comfort?  Are there times when it is better not to indulge your impulses?

As someone who has a history of comfort eating, this is something I have to ask myself almost on a daily basis.  I have a huge sweet tooth.  I eat when I’m bored, and when I’m alone for long periods of time.  I could easily have chocolate and baked goods every day if I wanted.  Physically speaking, I could easily eat dessert after every meal.  I could easily eat the portion sizes of a large man.  I could easily eat decadent restaurant dishes every day.  But would I be happy with that? No.  It weighs me down, and does not feel good.

I know this is exaggerating a bit, but regardless – comfort eating is almost an addiction.  There came a time when I needed to learn to exercise some self-control.  I’ve actually heard that self-control is like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets.  I guess that’s where restriction comes into play. Luckily I never got that extreme, but there was a brief period where eating a whole cupcake was forbidden – it was too much of an indulgence, and couldn’t be done.

I’m writing this now, because I think I’m starting to finally figure out which of my cravings to honor, and which to divert.  For example, I had ravioli for dinner the other day.  Random, right?  I have no idea why, but all day I couldn’t get ravioli out of my head.  And not whole grain or vegan or gluten-free – just goat cheese, red pepper and basil ravioli made with semolina flour.

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served on steamed kale with some goat cheese on top. Had to get my serving of leafy greens as well!

Pasta was one of those things that I stopped craving when I stopped eating so much of it – which I’m totally fine with.  But that made this random impulse so weird.  Regardless, I thought long and hard about it.  After some serious deliberation, I knew that I would kick myself if I did not allow this meal to happen.  And I am really glad I did.  In no way is this a particularly unhealthy meal.

However, there are other times when I do have to use my self-control muscle.  Almost every time I walk past a shop with pastries in the window, I start thinking about how much I want cookies or cupcakes.  Every time I walk past the chocolate aisle at a market, I have to remember that I don’t need to eat a full chocolate bar per day.  When there is one item or serving left of something, I have to convince myself that I don’t want it – because it most often appeals to me because it’s the last one.

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solution - make my own treats to control indulgence levels: homemade PB cup. see my recipe page! (this was actually AB)

Those kinds of cravings are comforts, ones that I would most likely indulge too much, and regret if afterwards.  These are the ones I am learning to control.  It’s not an exact science, but I think I’m getting better at it.  And of course, I feel better when I indulge now and then.  The more I honor the little things I truly want, the less likely I am to gorge myself with desserts at a party or impulse-buy unhealthy indulgences.

Now that I can allow myself to give in to little treats, I find myself craving healthy things more and more.

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there are times when all I want is WF salad bar, a box of veggie-goodness

If I eat a huge plate of quality, nutrient dense foods, I’m less likely to want that chocolate bar.

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...and there are times when I make random things out of flavors I can't stop thinking about, like this stuffed acorn squash with curried seitan and okra

And I’m starting to get more creative in the kitchen.  Which is fun and rewarding.  Which again, leaves me with no void to fill, no real reason to comfort eat.

Now, it is midterms week, and I have made one promise to myself.  I will not restrict, and I will not over-indulge.  I know I’m going to want chocolate, and all kinds of sweet things in the middle of the night.  So I’ll have a small taste, but try my best to leave it at that.  I will fuel myself with delicious, good nutrients, as I know I will feel better in the long run – and most likely have more energy.

I’d love to hear some thoughts on how you deal with cravings.

Do you listen to every little thing impulse you have?

Are there certain cravings that you know are only comfort related?

How do you exercise your self-control without going too far?

Always Fashionably Late (WIAW)

Never have I ever been one of the first 150 or so bloggers to link up for What I Ate Wednesday!  Maybe it’s because I always choose to post Wednesday’s eats, as opposed to Tuesday’s.  Tuesday is usually my worst day of the week, I have at least 4 classes with really awkward 1 hour breaks.  So Wednesday it will stay, and I will alway’s be fashionably late to Jenn’s fabulous party.

Let’s get to it!

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OIAJ! I went with overnight oat bran, though I still think I prefer hot oats in a jar. lots of cinna on top!

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second part of breakfast: amazingly tasty organic Bartlett pear

coffee on the go! made a boring class much more bearable

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perfectly ripe pre-workout banana

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the return of the green post-workout smoothie!

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grilled sandwich. best decision ever: hummus, mustard, greens, squash sauce, (invisible) peppers, on sprouted grain bread

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organic gala (not as good as honeycrisp) and goat gouda! apples & cheese = delish.

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it's okay to have chocolate as an appetizer, right?

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homemade coconut curry! with quinoa, chickpeas, eggplant, brussels sprouts, and other stuff. So glad I made a huge pot of it 🙂

Now, sipping on a coconut chai green tea (no photo…) and about to tackle some physics homework and coding.

Have you ever made your own curries?  What’s your favorite way to do it?

Best thing you’ve eaten recently?

To Fast

Oh hey, Friday.  And what’s this? She’s found time to blog three days in a row?  Well, I originally was going to save my discoveries post for tomorrow, but that was before I really thought about the fact that tomorrow is Yom Kippur – the second major high holiday.  This day is a day of remembrance and repentance, and we symbolically fast for a full hours to cleanse the mind and body.

Yes, you read correctly, starting at about 7pm tonight, I am not eat or drinking anything until tomorrow night.  No, I am not using it as an excuse to restrict and such, this fast is something I have done every year since I was 12.  It is a mind and body reset, a time to reflect on the year, ask forgiveness, and take a day free of bodily indulgence.  I plan to go to services in the morning, relax a little, and to reset.  I’m going to use this time mostly for self-reflection, as I don’t really know where I stand with my belief in God at this point in my life.  But I am always happy to be in the presence of those who do strongly believe.  I love the energy.

So before I disappear for a day, here are some things that made my week awesome:

1. Soft Serve Fruit Co.

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banana with chopped apples and carob chips

I’ve been here a few times before, but I’m taking advantage of the last semi-warm weather.  No, this is not froyo – it’s all fruit! Frozen, and dispensed in the typical froyo machine.  They have 4 different flavors at a time, but I went with the tried and true – banana.  It’s always so creamy.

2. Rawganique organic hemp backpack

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there's even a padded pouch in the big pocket for a laptop!

3. My kitchen setup – or lack thereof.

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I love my foreman grill! Good for toast, grilling veggies, you name it

yup, this is all the counter space I have.

4. Green Juice.

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refreshing green goodness!

I don’t think I ever craved green juice before, but I wanted bad the other day.  I looked at Gena’s post on NYC juice bars to find the closest place for a juice right on campus.  Juice Generation was it!  I got the Supa Dupa Greens, and loved every sip.

5. Homemade Nut Milk!

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not a pretty picture, but I made cashew milk! Seriously, if you have a blender, nut milk is the easiest thing ever.

6. No food goes to waste.

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What did I do with leftover cashew pulp? Make cookies.

I love raw cookies.  These had cashew pulp, date purée, chia seeds, cacao nibs & vanilla.

7. I got new skull candies!!

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My new babies. In white! that way I can confuse people and with a quick glance they'll think I have ipod headphones... haha!

I know I could have easily spent less money, but the amazing sound quality and perfect fit is so worth it.  When I went to buy these, I realized that they’ve actually stopped making them!  I may have to purchase an extra pair just in case.

Now I’m off to complete my fast!

Have you ever fasted for religious or spiritual reasons?

What was one little thing that made your week awesome?