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Tag Archives: Greens

Cranberries!

…For when you have cranberries, but sauce seems like too much of a project and pie or bars or muffins are really too much of a project. Juice is also a project. But you have to eat breakfast, right? Why not make a smoothie?

cranberries | Gothic Granola

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Vacation, Greens, and a Cake Revisited

It’s Thursday, and it’s time for a roundup of wellness bits and bobs, readers.

IMAG0180

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Cerealously

This blog post is dedicated to the awesome blog that is no more, “Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp” and its intrepid author.

While on a nostalgic Internet search for French Toast Crunch, specifically the Halloween version from Fall 1998, I found a blog called, “Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp,” a WordPress site on which the young male author discusses college football and reviews food. Adam Nettina had managed to score a box of Canadian French Toast Crunch and reviewed it sometime in the last two years. The more I read the site, the more I noticed what the author and I had in common: twenty-something, higher-educated, Catholic, living in the DMV, eating disordered. Don’t try to look it up, though; Adam took the blog down last year.

His clear writing style made the blog easy to read, and his photos made me want cereal, had me eating with my eyes, as a good blog should. Reading his posts brought a smile to my face as he rated food on texture, taste, price, availability, and whether he would buy it again. Adam once began a review for yet another kind of cereal that he was “someone who chooses to eat [his] carbs in the form of cereal,” a statement I found hilarious and relatable up to a certain point in my life.

Yeah, I had a bit of a crush.

Hey, for words on a screen, Nettina met my criteria for cool before I even had criteria: excellent writer, critical thinker, religious, foodie, writer, blogger… This article showed me how similar Nettina and I am, in psychology.

Promise I’m not a creeper! Most of my crushes/squishes to that point were hopelessly unrequited, so I didn’t have reciprocal experience. Hence, my crushes/squishes until 2013 rather closely resembled stalking. The Internet makes indulging such passions all too easy.

Until the target disappears.

I began reading Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp in September 2012, and I took pictures of my breakfast consisting of Nature’s Path Koala Krisp and green juice (and the requisite ground flaxseed and peanut butter hiding in there). I had intended to blog about the cereal in the style of OPWC, but I put it off. Now I can’t even link to the blog that inspired it all.

Review 1. Envirokidz Chocolate Koala Crisp (TM)

Brand: Nature’s Path

Composition: Chocolate puffed rice

Works well: Straight, as cereal or in Sacrifice Bars II or the original Sacrifice Bars or Embassy Treats

Number of ingredients: 6

Price: $4.50-$5.50, depending on the store (it’s available at Whole Foods Markets, MOM’S, and similar stores in the DMV area)

Crunchy and chocolaty, Nature’s Path has a solid kids’ offering here with the Koala Crisp. The chocolate flavor is more “cocoa-y” than chocolatey, but that’s par for the course with healthy cereals. At six ingredients, there’s nothing to complain about in terms of it being a mysterious, supplement-sprayed, frankenfood kid’s cereal, and for this, it rises way above competition. It clocks in at 11 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fibre, and 2 grams of protein per serving, though, which makes it a better “treat” cereal than a daily one. I have purchased and cooked with it on multiple occasions already.

You can tell I used nondairy milk in that smoothie because it’s “flat” green. Oh wait, I write down what I eat. That was a kale-ginger-red delicious apple-almond butter-unsweetened vanilla almond milk-plain coconut kefir smoothie. As if this post wasn’t weird enough, there’s another one of my idiosyncrasies, food journalling!

Review 2. Simply Maize Organic Corn Cereal

Brand: Kashi

Composition: Puffed corn flakes (think Special K)

Works Well: Straight

Number of ingredients: 4

Price: Costco-sized box, close to $7

TC introduced me to Kashi Simply Maize cereal last month. I ate it with a mysterious smoothie, of course. He and his superior said my breakfast concoction looked pretty gross. SM tastes much like healthier, cleaner, clearer Corn Pops. The corniness is inherent in the crunch and toasty flavor (the latter of which is probably due to the molasses). Two grams of fibre, six grams of sugar, and two grams of protein for a 3/4 cup serving is safe for daily consumption, in my book. Daily consumption drowned in green juice, that is. I already bought a tonne of it at Costco, but I will buy it again in my efforts to 1) have food TC will eat at my apartment and 2) build healthy, long-shelf-lived snack packs to prevent binges.

Tangent time: DID YOU KNOW…Araceli, the heroine of the short story “Nickel-a-Pound Plane Ride” by Gary Soto, creates a concoction (fifth grade vocabulary word) of cornflakes and coffee, and said concoction was the inspiration for my group of friends’ subsequent creation of lunchtime potions? Moreover, that story gave me license to begin mixing tea with ice cream, and my culinary imagination took flight from there.

Proof: Q circa June 2004, my post-prom dessert. Actually, Alaine and I left early, so the time of this photo wasn’t even technically post-prom. Videre licet, decaf tea over chocolate frozen yoghurt, Ghirardelli chocolate, and a Ghirardelli brownie. Ownie Mom’s the chocoholic and food preparer, not me.

And then I got into the “cover everything with nondairy milk” phase, when I used to drown my bread or oats in it every morning. Q, 2011, looking extremely pissed off next to a bowl of oats, fruit, and nondairy milk (soy from the off-whiteness of it).

Review 3. Cinnamon Heaven

Brand: Van’s

Composition: GF flour blend squares coated in cinnamon

Works Well: Cereal qua cereal. Maybe as cereal qua French toast?

Number of Ingredients: 14

Price: $4.50-5.50 (found it at MOM’S)

OMG. OMG. OMG. It’s my fave cereal in natural foods style! Or close enough. Cinnamon Toast Crunch was my favourite boxed cereal from back in the day when The Little Mermaid was my favourite movie. Nostalgia aside, this tastes like it should, healthier version of the original (i.e., cleaner taste, not as stridently cinnamonny). For the price of it, no, I would not buy it again. Not when I can make it.

TC’s response to my telling him about this cereal, since Cinnamon Toast Crunch is/was our mutual favourite, was, “Did you eat the entire box?” One night, TC and I were looking for something to do and he said, let’s get boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and see who can finish first. I countered with something along the lines of, ‘eww, no, but I’m a binge eater, so that’s no contest.’ Cereal used to be my drug of choice, and having as much as I do in my apartment right now is a challenge, mainly because the sugar is triggering. I also realized that denying myself sugar 100 per cent was setting myself up to fail:

1) because it’s in everything and avoiding it is more of a problem than I thought.

2) because some cravings ought to be given into–healthily.

There are worse foodstuffs to shove down one’s throat than 3/4 cup of sugar-containing cereal. So, moderation. Lieber das Messer ablecken als den Löffel abgeben.

Parting shots:

My new AGV Valentino Rossi motorcycle helmet, with which I am obsessed. It was on sale and TC’s spare helmet was too big. Now I have a helmet that fits my noggin! Can’t stop thinking about how neat it is. Going to be riding pillion (proper term) or bitch (vulgar term) with TC on the sport bike a lot as the weather warms up.

Steamed some broccoli.

Pressed some tofu.

Marinated tofu in jazzed-up broccoli water. Voila:

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

G-Fr33 | Mug Cake

“What really happens to you if you eat gluten, though?”

Women’s Health Magazine has this most enlightening article for all the new faux paus committed around the GF-ers. Actually, saying these things to anyone who has allergies (“I tried soy nut butter once and it was disgusting!” to a peanut allergic person) is rude. Not to be all high and mighty, but a little education goes a long way towards creating a better dining (and kissing) situation.

That being said, eating gluten-free and eating more whole foods (the two generally go together) involves a palate adjustment, visually and physically. TC rightly called me out on using being GF as an excuse to eat even weirder foods.



Green juice and overnight oatmeal, anyone?

This week’s recipe is hardly strange to anyone in the fitness community: mug cake. Made of protein powder, grain-free flour (technically “meal”), and egg substitute, the microwaved soft “cake” is a miracle of modern science.

When shakes are a little too cold for you, and you don’t want a protein bar, the semisolid mug cake does the trick.


Version 1: Just protein powder, apple butter, and water (I worked with what was available) microwaved for a minute.



Version 2: Traditional, recipe to follow.


Mug Cake
Recipe adapted from a bajillion and one “fitfam” Instagram accounts, which makes it common knowledge, right?

1 scoop protein powder (I used Marley Coffee Rawmeal)
1 tablespoon almond meal
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa (optional, for the chocolate version)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/3 cup water

To make this to travel, I mixed all the dry ingredients and placed them in an airtight container. To assemble: place mixed dry ingredients in a microwave-safe mug. Add water and stir until reconstituted and the consistency is that of thick pudding.  Microwave for 1-2 minutes (depending on your microwave’s power). Either decant onto a plate or eat out of the mug.

Sauces, sprinkles, fresh fruit, et cetera are at your discretion to add. I made this as a snack at work. Nota bene that I am not a microwave fan (and I’m not just bitter because I don’t own one). Rather, I don’t like the crazy, excited energy that it imparts to my food. You are what you eat, and since I’m trying to be grounded and stable, I’ve increased my intake of root veggies (grounding) and I steam or roast them (slower, calmer energy). Energetics of food–try eating in ways which are energetically aligned with how you want to be and see what it does for you.


Parting shots:
The owl is watching you.



Back to protein shakes and the 5 meals a day plan.
Breakfast is green juice (apple, greens, ginger) and overnight oats (rolled oats, water, ground flaxseed, nut butter).


Mid -morning snack is protein powder and non-dairy milk.



Lunch is protein (cookie dough dip), a little grain (kasha), veggies, dried fruit, and sriracha.



Mid-afternoon snack is another shake (maca magick, which I made with too much stevia).

Dinner one night was a salad and hommos from Shawafel on H Street. Dessert was mint chocolate chip vice cream by So Delicious since it was National Chocolate Mint Day on Wednesday.



 Repeat!


I tried my hand at another fitfam (“Fitness Family”) standby, protein pancakes. I used the too-sweet maca magick shake as a base, with coconut shreds and coconut flour for more substance.



Looks innocent and green (hemp protein powder is very green) enough.

Unfortunately, they all burned like crazy on the bottom. Most of my pancakes turn out burny, and I eat them as long as they are not complete char. Must be my technique. With Fat Tuesday coming, gotta practice!

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Easing the Spiritual Cramp | Juice Fast II

Fasting brings me back to the natural swing of things: fatigue, hunger, boredom, interest, what gives me joy and what causes me pain. It takes a chainsaw to the social, political, religious, et aliis reasons and justifications I build around certain behaviours.







From conversations with friends over the past few weeks, I gathered that it’s a privilege have had the training to be a researcher and public speaker.  I can both find/make results and deliver them with flair. Turning the “critical lens” on myself and my world yields insights and possibilities for my next steps. During my second juice fast of 2014, the results of the critical lens’ scan seem particularly glaring.



Cranberry Carrot Juice

5 1/2-inch diameter carrots, peeled if not organic and cut into big chunks
1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
2 red delicious apples, cored and cut into big chunks
1-inch chunk ginger
water to cover

Combine the above in a blender and blitz to oblivion.  Bottle and chill until time to consume.


Parting shots:
Another study telling us that taking lunch break makes us more productive and overall better employees. I supported this sentiment in Sandwich over a year ago.


Videre licet, recess.

Went to Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar with my friend Lizzy. Curse reversed.



I can die a thousand times
But I will always be here
with the power skull secrets
of forgotten years

Yes, Virginia, deathrock has wellness advice…we are our own best advisors if we’d simply shut up and show up.
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Juice Fasting | Juice Recipes

I’m in the midst of a juice fast. I don’t have a juicer, just a Vitamix, so it’s more I’m on an “obliterated fruits and veggies” fast. While checking out Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar online recently, I found their juice fast instructions. Says I, I’ve got a Vitamix and some cash to spend on raw materials.  Off I went in hopes of resetting my portion size concept and purify my diet.





Khepra prescribes coconut water and almond or coconut milk for breakfast. I created this almond mylk (I like Ani Phyo’s spelling) which, while not 100 per cent raw, is frickin’ delicious. It is not “overcooked by cathode rays.”

Almond Date Breakfast Mylk

1 cup almonds, soaked overnight and drained
1 cup dates, soaked overnight and drained
1 1/2 cups filtered water
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or more water)
2 teaspoons maca powder

Blitz everything in high-speed blender or until evenly combined.  Makes about two 16-ounce servings.



Another favourite juice so far is parsnip-pear-apple-ginger-jicama.

2-3 cups filtered water
3 parsnips, peeled
1 cup jicama, peeled and cubed
2 small apples, cored
1 pear, cored
1-inch chunk of ginger, peeled

Blitz everything in high-speed blender until fruit skin disappears.  Makes about four 16-ounce servings.



Parting shots:
Juice for a day on the first day: two green juices, two carrot-jicama-pear juices, coconut water, almond and cashew nog, kombucha



Dinner: green juice reblended with a little warm water and coconut butter because OF COURSE I chose to do a mostly raw juice fast on the week the temp drops to zero.

Hey, look, it’s Edgar Allan Poe’s grave!  This Goth grrl has been there, done that.


Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Trendy Thursday | Quinoa Pizza Muffins

Q is for Quinoa.
 
Quinoa pizza bites are all over the ’nets. Google it. Figured I’d throw my hat into the ring, my colonial tricorn into the Coraline other-world ring, that is.
 
The particular recipe I deconstructed and rebuilt is from a blog called “The Way to His Heart Blog,” taking its title from the phrase, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”


 

Whenever I think of that phrase, I think of Akasha ripping a guy’s heart out in Queen of the Damned. Vampires have kind of ruined me in some ways. Then again, my birthday is Halloween…
 

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