Tag Archives: Protein

Healthy Breakfast Quinoa

This morning I woke up and realized I only had a tiny, tiny amount of oatmeal left. Since I’ve been trying to eat mostly vegan lately, I didn’t want to eat yogurt or eggs for breakfast, so I thought I’d get a little creative and use inspiration from many recipes I’ve seen to create my own breakfast quinoa.

The result was actually amazing! I can’t wait to try this again tomorrow morning.

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Since I rarely use real recipes and I just make things up as I go, here I’ll try to describe my process, in case you want to recreate it (which you should, because this was SO good).

Ingredients:

Quinoa

Almond Milk

Raisins

Dried Apricots (or any dried or fresh fruit)

Cinnamon

Honey

Almonds (or walnuts)

I already had quinoa pre-made from last night, but if you don’t, you can start from scratch, which might actually be better. (I’ll be trying that tomorrow.) Mine was a quinoa-bulgur wheat mix, but I recommend just straight quinoa. I had… a normal serving size? About a cup? Not really sure. You can be more precise if you want.

I put it in a little sauce pan, turned the heat on low, and poured in some almond milk (but not too much at first). I tossed in some raisins, and a small amount of honey and cinnamon and some sliced dried apricots (though you can use whatever fresh or dried fruit you desire). I mixed it all together and kept adding almond milk until it was a consistency that looked good to me (I didn’t want it to be too watery but you can make it as watery or dry as you’d like). At the end, I chopped up some almonds (if you have slivered almonds, or shelled walnuts, even better so you don’t have to deal with cutting whole almonds) and tossed them in, and gave it a little taste test to see what I thought. YUM.

Since I had a tiny bit of oatmeal, I cooked that and mixed both together, and the result was a delicious, sweet, healthy, protein-filled, fiber-filled, nutrient-dense breakfast to start my day. Seriously this might be my new favorite thing. Dare I say… better than oatmeal??

TRY IT. I dare you.

Here are some suggestions for things to add, though the beauty of this is that you pretty much can just do whatever you want and it will most likely be amazing.

– Fresh blueberries

– Fresh strawberries

– Almond butter

– Avocados

– Maple syrup

– Peaches

– Mashed banana

– Protein powder

– Chocolate chips

– Greek yogurt

… The list can go on as far as you’d like. Just some ideas to get you started.

Seriously this is my new favorite discovery. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

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Mid-Day Mind Munchies and Yoga

Sometimes I wonder if I think about food too much. Am I alone here? Or does anyone else ever feel like they just obsess over food all day, every day. I plan my whole day around my food and exercise, and I plan my food and exercise around each other, and its not because I’m some inspiring, intense, die-hard foodie or fitness goddess. I’m not. At all. I’m the laziest sonofabitch you’ll ever meet, and (as you know if you’ve been reading my blog), I seem to love stuffing my face with food until I want to cry. It really should be pathetic.

But, alas, I somehow still get myself to exercise, and since food already takes up 90% of my brain space, I inevitably plan my exercising around my food and my life around my food.

I FUCKING LOVE FOOD. And I think everyone out there does too, but some people like to act like food doesn’t consume their thoughts, because they think it makes them look cool. Or strong. Or healthy. Or who knows. But don’t kid yourself… I can see riiiiight past it. Your brain is salivating.

Anyway… What I meant to say was… Here are some pictures of my food today!

Because, I love food, and I take pictures of food and I don’t care.

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Lunch salad, which I ate out of a huge bowl, because spinach takes up a lot of space, and its easier/more fun that way if you’re savage and happen to be eating alone like I am. It kind of feels like I’m the guy from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, eating an entire box of Lucky Charms out of a huge mixing bowl, like a boss:

Anyway… My salad consisted of spinach, chickpeas, corn, carrots, tomatoes, almonds, pine nuts, raisins, and for dressing, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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[This part needs to be read in a snobby British accent.] As the second course for todays prix-fixe menu, we have featured our house specialty, the Artesanal Dry-Farmed Herloom Beta-Carotene Puree with an H2O Reduction Sauce.

In other words… microwaved sweet potato.

Literally the most gourmet thing you’ll ever find in nature. It blows my balls off.

Sweet potato is what happened when God had a lot of liberating sex on Saturday night with Mr. God (or Mrs. God, since LadyGod could have very well been a lesbian. Who am I to make that kind of assumption…) and was feeling happy and overly generous to Her children on the 7th day, so She said, here, kids, take all my gold and my money and my secrets and run wild. So they partied hard, got really drunk, and passed out in the dirt and all the gold got stuck somewhere deep in the soil, and months later sweet potatoes popped up. So now you know some agricultural history. You’re welcome.

Later in the afternoon, I was feeling hungry (as if my enormous bath tub of salad wasn’t enough), so I made myself a smoothie much like this one, but with almond butter instead of peanut butter. After it was blended, I added a little more almond butter, and right now, as I’m drinking it, I keep finding little chunks of heaven amidst this delicious smoothie, and I’m patting myself on the back for having such a brilliant idea.

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So far, so good. I actually didn’t eat oatmeal for breakfast, because my almond butter needed attention (I can already see that my goal to not finish this jar by the end of the week is going to be really difficult), so I ate an open-faced sandwich: whole wheat bread, almond butter, banana. Bomb dot com.

After watching a bunch of TED talks and killing all the ants I found in my room (don’t ask… I’m pissed), I did half an hour of yoga, following a Jillian Michaels’ video:

 

And now at the early hour of 4:49pm, I’m finally getting my day started. Its Sunday, don’t hate. I’m going to the movies, and I’m making my promise ahead of time – I will not eat anything from the concession stand. I’m bringing a bag of almonds and maybe a piece of fruit, if I get hungry (though this smoothie should keep me full for a while), and tonight I’m eating the rest of my salad (yeah… I forgot to mention, I couldn’t finish it) and maybe some plain soy yogurt with honey for dessert.

HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE, okay!?

If all goes well, today will be another successful vegan day. Hooray!

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Raspberry Banana Oatmeal Protein Smoothie

No almond butter? No peanut butter? What am I supposed to do with myself for an afternoon snack?!?!

I was hungry and I knew that dinner tonight will be soup, and I know that this soup contains probably very little healthy protein (mostly vegetables and heavy cream), so I wanted to get some protein in before dinner so I wouldn’t feel nutrient-deprived later, so….

I experimented with a few different ingredients to make a Raspberry-Banana-Oatmeal Protein Smoothie, and it was glorious!

The raspberries were a lucky find… I did some digging in the freezer because I knew a while ago my host mom had some frozen raspberries for one of her amazing desserts, and I wondered if there might still be some. To my delight, there were! So I tossed some of those in with half a banana (the bananas were huge), some almond milk, a scoop of protein powder, oatmeal, and cinnamon and blended that shit uppppp.

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Raspberry Banana Protein Smoothie

3/4 cup raspberries

1/2 large banana

1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal

1 scoop protein powder

3/4 – 1 cup almond milk

Sprinkle of cinnamon

** Blend in blender. Drink. Make this face:

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Stronger Than Yesterday

You know what happens when you set your intentions for the day, when you plan ahead, and when you find internal motivation to have a better day than yesterday? You fucking succeed! Or at least I do.

Today was SO much better than yesterday, oh my god! I went to bed earlier, woke up earlier, and went on my morning run as promised, and that was crucial in setting the tone for the rest of the day. I ate clean all day, I had energy, and I accomplished quite a number of things, with plenty of time to spare to talk to a few friends back home.

After my run, I had my usual oatmeal with protein powder which kept me full for hours and hours. I mixed it with my usual cinnamon and walnuts and I added apples today, just ‘cuz.

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For lunch, I had a minor moment of distress when I opened the fridge and felt discouraged and too lazy to cook. I really wanted to spend a minimal amount of effort on my meal and I almost settled for some poor choices, for sake of convenience (i.e. leftover French food, aka a heart attack), but I paused, took a deep breath, and decided to do a little hunting to see what I could make. Sometimes I start cooking and I don’t even know what it is that I’m making until halfway through the process, and today was one of those days. I found vegetables, sauteed them, and found some eggs and decided to make a veggie eggwhite scramble with half of a small avocado that I had from my picnic this past weekend.

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It was a great success, totally lean, full of good protein, raw, full of vitamins and minerals, vegetarian, had good fats (from the avocado), filling, and low calorie. When I feel lazy and I have eggs around, I’ll usually make a plain eggwhite scramble, but today’s was even better because of all the veggies. I could eat this every day! This meal is all sorts of GOOD.

In the afternoon, I made myself a protein shake with a little almond milk, water, a scoop of protein powder, and a tablespoon of almond butter, because I’m addicted, duh. I don’t have my shaker bottle like I do at home, so I found a janky ass bowl and whisked it all together. Not ideal, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

Four my 4th “meal”, I had a picnic with the little girl and I ate an apple and some dried fruit. And when dinner came around, I didn’t have much (aka any) freedom to choose what I ate, but I controlled my portions and ate slowly and mindfully. It was lamb with all sorts of sauces, and good lord it was good, but its red meat, and I try to avoid that at all costs. I’m proud of myself for avoiding the nightly cheese course, the bread, and the dessert… all things which I crave more than life itself. But my willpower carried me all the way through a successful dinner time, and now, moments before going to bed, I don’t feel sick to my stomach as I do when I overeat, I don’t feel bloated as I do when I eat the wrong things, I don’t feel remorse as I do when I lose self control… I feel perfectly content, healthy, and satisfied with myself today.

It really is amazing what starting the day off on the right foot can do for the outcome of the rest of the day. For me, waking up early and working out early was absolutely the key to my continued success all day long. I want to try to turn this into a habit, as it clearly works well for me! I feel strong, physically and mentally… I’d call that a success.

What habits work well for you? What do you do to start your day off on the right foot?

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Tuna Discovery

Canned tuna.

My first thoughts are usually, “ew, wtf”, mostly because I’ve always associated it with tuna salad, which I hate. Just the smell of it makes me want to vom. But I guess reading so many bodybuilding blogs has incepted the idea of canned tuna into my brain, because I actually bought some to try the other day. With my own money, I paid for canned tuna. Who am I?

** I should mention that as an au pair, my food is technically taken care of by my host family, unless I go out to eat with friends, in which case I use my weekly allowance to treat myself to a night out. Otherwise, any food that I eat at home should be fully provided by my family, WHICH IT IS, but before I get too into it, I just want to say that I often feel like certain key parts of my diet are missing and I haven’t had the courage to really ask for them yet, so I’ve resorted to using my allowance towards buying my own groceries and hiding them in my room, like a little fucking squirrel. I’ll talk more about this later. But either way, for the sake of this post, I paid for tuna, and a bunch of other things, featured below. **

Anyways, back to canned tuna. I usually hate that shit, but reading about bodybuilders and their love for canned tuna, I decided to give it a try because I figured they know something I don’t. Holy shit, they were right! One small can of tuna, about 100 grams (or about 3.5 ounces), has around 120 calories and 29 grams of protein.

Let me repeat that.

120 calories. 29 grams of protein.

For those of you that don’t know what that means, let me explain. My Sun Warrior protein powder has about 80 calories and 17 grams of protein in one serving. Four scrambled egg whites have about 70 calories and 14 grams of protein. A 3-ounce portion of ground beef has over 230 calories and around 21 grams of protein (not to mention tons of sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat). Even a 4-ounce piece of salmon has more calories (165 ish) and less protein (24 grams) than a small can of tuna.

My mind was blown when I read the nutrition label, and without hesitating, I bought a can to test it out.

After a really tough work out this morning, I knew I needed to feed my muscles with plenty of protein, so I made a tasty little tuna-based lunch: canned tuna, 1/4 avocado, 1/2 tomato, olive oil, salt, pepper, all mixed together and served over two small slices of whole wheat toast (each one about 50 calories). Boom! It tasted fucking delicious and I could practically feel my muscles getting more defined with each bite.

Dig in to this little bitch… I have been converted!

Open-Faced Tuna Sandwich

Note: I collected some of my nutritional information from this handy site: www.fatsecret.com

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