Ramblings, Confessions, and Curries

Friday could not have come sooner!  I’m not doing a discoveries post today.  Why? Honestly, I’m really not feeling it. So excuse the random ramblings and contents of this post.  Oh, and there’s a recipe at the end.

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confession - sometimes I dip my pre-workout banana in the coffee. try it, it's delicious.

Despite the shortened week, I was again thrown off but the change in routine.  After being really busy for a while, I have an incredibly hard time with breaks that do not involve a change of environment.  That probably doesn’t make much sense – I’ll try to be as coherent as I can here.  If a vacation involves travel, I’m more inclined to use the time to enjoy myself.  If I don’t go anywhere, I am not at all good at making good use of my time.  There is too much free time to get work done, nobody around to hang out with, and not really enough time or money to do anything crazy.  So this past week was rather unproductive, and now I have so much work to do within the next week or two.  Stress = not good!

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this round of nut pulp cookies were bad. sadness.

Despite this, I had an awesome week fitness-wise!  One thing I love about days off is that I can get to the gym early, before I do anything else with the day.  I love starting days this way.  I’m really starting to like running now, as well!  I owe a huge thanks to Tara, who (a while ago) kindly sent me some awesome tips for beginning runners.  Thanks again! I’m trying to focus on form as much as I can, to avoid getting hurt, so I’m taking all the advice I can get.

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confession - i eat my meal salads out of large mixing bowls

My running this week: monday 3 miles, Wednesday 20 minute HIIT run, friday 3.5 miles nonstop!  I’m proud of myself for today’s run, as I took no walk breaks.  My pace makes me a little sad, at about 11:00 mins/mile – but I didn’t stop to walk at all.  I have to remind myself that I’m not a born runner.  I won’t be perfect from the start.

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current beverage obsession. Just have to remember not to drink it after 5pm, or I definitely wont sleep

I had a whole bunch of other things to write, but there are too many things going on now that I lost my train of thought.  A few nights this week I’ve even had to get out of bed at 4am just to make a list, so I can sleep!  Hey brain, you want to turn off at night? Thanks.

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what? she bought cereal? kashi golean. protein, fiber, low sugar, tasty, crunchy. with homemade almond milk, sun warrior, pumpkin and cinna

As far as eats go, things have been all over the place.  I think mostly because of my workout changes, routine changes, and stress.  But, no crazy slip-ups and guilt trips, so I think I’m okay for now.  On the topic of eats, I posted a homemade coconut curry as part of my WIAW and a few people asked for a recipe.  So here it is!

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Simply Coconut Curry (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

This one-pot meal is super easy to make, and near impossible to mess up.  It’s nutrient-rich, high in protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats.  You can use the ingredients I have here, or choose whatever veggies or grains you choose.  It even tastes fantastic the day after, perfect for planned leftovers. [[makes about 4 servings]] prep time: 15 mins, cook time: 1 hour +.


  • 2-3 cups cooked quinoa (measured after cooking!)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts
  • 1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • a few handfuls of spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, I like spicy)
  • 1tsp garam masala, or cinnamon
  • 1tsp salt, to taste


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.  While the oven is heating, chop up all your veggies.  Toss all the veggies (except the spinach) in a bowl with a little olive oil and sea salt, then spread on a pan in a single layer.  Roast for about 30-40 minutes, or until they are tender and start to brown.
  2. Place all ingredients in a pot.  Stir it up, and bring to a boil.  Immediately reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for about 20 minutes – or as long as you like.  The longer it cooks, the more the flavors will combine, but it tastes delicious regardless.
  3. Serve hot, or store in the fridge for the next few days.  Garnish with shredded coconut or some cashews or peanuts for crunch.  This would also be great with a creamy glob of greek yogurt.

[[notes: I used lite coconut milk as it was all I had on hand.  Full fat would be delicious, but It would come out much creamier than mine did.  Also, be careful with the cayenne pepper, this stuff is strong – but I like my curry really spicy]]

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roasted veggies

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really just throw it all in a pot!

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and simmer away...

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the best leftovers!

Unfortunately, it’s already all gone.  Ah well, it was delicious!

That was a rather long post, kudos if you made it through the whole thing!  I’m already up later that I should be for an early morning rehearsal on campus.  Good sleep is not easy to come by around here.

Do you have any random foodie confessions/weird habits?

If you’re a runner, what was your average pace for an easy run when you started?

[[Oh! One more thing – I have 16oz package of Navitas Naturals Maca powder that I am not going to use.  It is open, and about 1-2T have been used, but I’m not really a big fan of the taste, and I have not noticed a difference in how it makes me feel, so I’m not going to use it anymore.  I hate to have to throw it out but I can’t return it.  Does anyone out there want to do a swap? I’ll thrown in some other goodies too – just shoot me an email at eatlearndiscover@gmail.com ]]


Friday Finds, Travel Edition

…brought to you from Marin County, California where I’m staying with my lovely friend Erin!

athlete’s fashion discovery: adidas Climacool shoes.

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These make great multi-directional cross trainers, are super comfortable and most importantly – my feet can breathe!  I’ve never been one to wear sneakers on a daily basis because my feet always get too hot.  So far they’ve been really great on my trip, and are super light and travel really easily.  I know I’ve been told that adidas’ functional shoes are crap. but oh well.  They were on sale, so if they don’t last long I won’t be heatbroken.

Trader Joe’s discovery: this probably falls into the foodie category, but there were a few things I found at TJ’s this week that I wanted to share.

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Now that’s an oxymoron for you.  The texture is somewhere between regular steel-cut oats and oat bran. Delicious.

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This was a pre-workout breakfast, for a late start day.  Oats with honey & cinnamon, and coffee with organic soymilk.

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I love that TJ’s now has a chocolate bar with over 80% cacao! Or maybe they’ve had it for a while, I just haven’t noticed.

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Frozen berry blend – with cherries! I used it the other day to make a berry cherry chocolatey not-so-green monster.

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also in the bowl:

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup coconut milk liquid (I’ll get to that)
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 cup (ish) frozen spinach
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • chia seeds on top, for a little crunch

This leads to my next discovery.

foodie-discovery: full fat coconut milk.

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I’m not going to lie, I’m still afraid of full fat foods, mainly because I still don’t know the effect they have on my body.  I still think I have to be careful not to eat too much of these, as I still haven’t gotten this recent weight gain under control.  But will enjoy these foods anyway – all about moderation.

I bought this originally to make a coconut-cream topping for what was going to be my strawberry cupcakes, but it failed – I forgot to pour out the liquid the first time.  This week, I decided to try again.  Unfortunately this one failed too! I don’t know whether the coconut cream got too warm then separated, or whether it was the vanilla I added that caused it to do so. I tend to get really down when my experiments don’t work twice in a row.  But mom had a great idea! We had strawberries and coconut …sauce (?) with fresh mint from the green city market, and it was delicious.  A great send-off dessert, the night before an early flight.

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Eventually, I’ll have a coconut cream topping recipe for you. It will happen.

travel discoveries: This is by no means a roundup of my trip, just a few snippets for this post.  [[expect full recap posts to come!]] maps of san francisco are seriously misleading.  Something that appears be only 3 or 4 blocks away, could be 3 or 4 blocks up a hill!  Needless to say, my worries of getting enough exercise on this trip were quickly dispelled.  Some streets even have stairs.

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I love all the little independent coffee shops scattered throughout the city.  I’m not sure if I’ve already said this, but I do love a really good cup of coffee.  Starbucks and I have pretty much ended our relationship, unless I want something really fancy.

This morning I looked up nearby cafés (thank you, Google Maps) in search of a little place for a latte.  The place I decided on was about 4 blocks away, a nice little walk. I got about a block and a half away, and found another little place!

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Perfect. Best soy latte I’ve had in a while.

Things I love about CA: So much amazing, organic produce.  Actually, so much amazing, organic everything!  As much as I love Chicago, the people in general seem to be a bit behind the times when it comes to health and sustainability.  It’s definitely not impossible (case in point, all the amazing food and things I’ve found there), but here it’s effortless.  I love vacation!

Where you live, how easy is it to find fresh, healthy foods and sustainable products?