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Friday, December 30, 2011

"So What Do You EAT?"

This has been the #1 question people ask when when I tell them that I'm not eating meat anymore.  I decided that to answer this best I could show what I eat on a typical day.  
So yesterday went a little like this:

*Breakfast - Rolled oats made with almond milk, walnuts, craisins & a drizzle of maple syrup
*Lunch - I made the most awesome israeli couscous/wheatberry salad the night before, left the flavors to really come together, marinated tofu, pan fried & threw it in the salad 
*Dinner - Stir fry (aka - clean out all the veggies in the fridge that are about to go bad) It was so good even my meat loving husband ate 3 bowls! 

(You can find the recipes at the end!)

Throughout the day I had some snacks like clementines & green peppers and drank lots of water with lemon to help detox all the ridiculous food I ate over the holidays.  Everything we ate yesterday was very yummy and fulfilling, I am loving finding new recipes and having fun in the kitchen again!  It felt like we had gotten into a food "rut", every week we were eating the same boring things.  Since changing my diet I have been adding foods & spices I would never have thought to do - and its pretty awesome!

Here's a list of some other fun questions/comments I've been getting:

1. How do you get protein? (or even better, "You're not going to get enough protein you know")
2. What do you eat, tofu?
3. But don't you think we're supposed to eat meat?
4. What are you going to eat when you go out to eat?
5. (my personal favorite) You know, you should really be eating ____ (insert anything: gluten free, just fish, chicken, low carb...) 

Israeli Couscous & Wheatberry "Fresh" Salad 
(inspired by Ohsheglows Red Quinoa & Black Bean Salad)
This is more of a summer salad - but we felt like we needed something more fresh and less of a comfort food after the holiday indulgences!
1 c uncooked Israeli Couscous (I used the Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joes - it has Israeli couscous, red and green orzo, split dried garbanzo beans, and red quinoa - pictured right)  
1 c uncooked Wheatberries(from the bulk bins at Whole Food)
1 can black beans - drained & rinsed
1 pepper chopped (I used a red pepper but I think a jalapeno would be awesome next time)
1/4 c fresh cilantro 
2 green onions chopped 
1 c corn (I used Trader Joes fire roasted frozen corn - and left it to thaw in the salad)
1 chopped avocado

Juice of 2 limes 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp pepper 
1 garlic clove minced 
1/4 c fresh cilantro 
1/4 c EVOO 
1/2 tsp cilantro 
2 tbl honey (PS - honey is not vegan - you could use organic sugar or agave nectar) 


1. Cook couscous mix  & wheatberries - I cooked them separately 
2. Chop vegetables & mix dressing 
3. Cool couscous & wheatberries 
4. Add veggies, beans & dressing 
5. Leave in the refrigerator for the flavors to come together for at least 1-2 hours or overnight & enjoy!! 

I added tofu - which I pressed all the liquid out of, marinated in Brianna's Ginger Mandarin salad dressing (pictured left), and pan fried in small pieces.  

Left-Over Stir Fry 

(any veggies you have, we used:)
1 head of broccoli chopped
1/2 bag of organic baby carrots chopped
1/2 onion chopped in large pieces
1 green pepper chopped
3 cloves garlic - minced 
1 tbl chopped fresh ginger
1 c chopped green beans 
1 tsp sesame oil (for flavor)
1 tsp EVOO (for stir frying)
1 c brown rice 
1/2 package tofu leftover from lunch - marinated again in Brianna's Ginger Mandarin Dressing

Stir Fry Sauce:
1/2 c Tamari
2 tbl Hoisin Sauce 
1 tbl EVOO 
1 tbl Organic Brown Sugar 

1. Start cooking your brown rice 
2. Chop veggies 
3. When rice has about 15 minutes left, heat the sesame oil & EVOO over med-high heat in a wok or large pan along with the ginger & garlic - being careful not to burn the garlic
4. Add onions & carrots and cook until they become softer 
5. Add the rest of the veggies 
6. In a separate pan, fry up the tofu in a small amount of EVOO or cooking spray until it becomes nice and crispy - mix up your stir fry sauce 
7. Add stir fry sauce, mix together 
8. Watch for begging dogs hiding under your feet
8. Serve over brown rice and you can garnish with sesame seeds to make it look pretty

I hope you enjoy the recipes & this gave you a small window into what I am currently eating!

Peas & Love 

PS- I just got the best text ever from J! melted my little vegetable-lovin' heart ;) 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Moving in a New Direction

My apologies for posting a whopping 3 times and then taking a 9 month hiatus, you must have been waiting on the edge of your seat all this time just waiting for more!  OK so really, although I was selling the idea of balancing it all I guess I just couldn't do it and the blog was the first to go.
Over the last 9 months many things have happened 
  • I have somehow kept my teaching position and will continue throughout the rest of the school year (yippee!!!)
  • In August I went from Miss K to Mrs. M and we had the most amazing wedding we could have asked for

  • We honeymooned in Costa Rica and contemplated never coming back ;)

  • I became a vegetarian (again) about 2 months ago
  • ...And the reason why I have come back to PLB... I will be giving up eggs & dairy for the month of January as I "test drive" a vegan diet!! 
As I research about "veganism" I am becoming more and more excited about it!  I felt like I wanted to document this journey and educate my friends & family about why I am doing this (and maybe  even inspire some people to make some changes in their diet as well).   My main concern about following a vegan diet is that I never want to inconvenience anyone else and I really never want to push my beliefs onto anyone else.  

I will try to update often with recipes & fun tidbits so check back!  

Peas & Love

Friday, March 25, 2011

A WINNING Friday Breakfast

Happy Friday!! (to all two of you readers out there - hi mom!)
I wanted to start the day off with a super yummy scramble that I threw together this morning.

Spinach Sweet Potato & Feta Scramble
-1 whole egg & one egg white
-handful of frozen organic spinach
-1/2 cooked sweet potato (leftover)
-small handful of feta cheese

Scramble the eggs with a drop of skim milk and add spinach and sweet potato
throw in a skillet and flip when ready
toss in feta cheese and fold over
Enjoy with 1 piece of toast, I recommend a whole wheat sprouted grain bread, I used Ezekiel cinnamon raisin toast, mmmm

Health Benefits of This Breakfast:
  • Eggs Eggs have gotten themselves a bad reputation because of their cholesterol, but get ready to welcome them back with open arms
    • Eggs contain a high amount of protein, which allows the body to burn fat.  
    • Increasing your protein also raises your metabolism (helloooo jeggins!) 
    • Eggs contain nine vitamins including, Vitamin B12 (which breaks down & burns fat within the body), iron, calcium, and thiamine. 
    • The vast majority of these vitamins and nutrients are found in the yolk; egg whites are so 2009.  Make sure you include at least one whole egg (but not too many more because they are calorie dense) in your scrambles to reap the benefits!
  • Sweet Potato These are one of the best vegetables you can eat!  Heres why: 
    • The vitamin-C, B-complex, iron, and phosphorous make them an intense immunity booster
    • Beta-carotene, vitamin-C, and magnesium make for a rockin anti-inflammatory and alleviate arthritis pain
    • It's high fiber and magnesium come together and promote healthy digestion 
    • They are very effective in regulating blood sugar 
    • There is usually less than 100 calories in a medium sized sweet potato!
  • Spinach When it comes to picking out fresh spinach, looks really do matter.  The greener the leaves, the higher the concentration of vitamin C (which helps your immune system, produces collagen, and protects your body from free radicals).
    • Spinach provides more nutrients per calorie than any other food
    • The lutein found in spinach protects your eyes from disease
    • Spinach is an excellent source of iron, which is needed for energy.
  • Whole Grain Sprouted Bread The difference between whole grain sprouted bread and plain-old bread is that WGSB is made with grains and legumes that are sprouted before being ground into flour.  Once the grains are sprouted, they are more vitamin and nutrient dense.  
    • Most sprouted breads are made with organic ingredients are are grown without pesticides or herbicides
    • They have a low glycemic index (which helps people lose & manage weight, improves diabetes management, reduces risk of heart disease, improves cholesterol levels, reduces hunger & helps you feel full longer, prolongs physical endurance, and helps to re-fuel carbohydrates following exercise)
    • Many brands (Ezekiel being one) use sprouted lentils & soybeans, which make the bread a complete protein
Yowzas, I hope you learned as much reading this as I did writing it!  I'm pretty stoked that my breakfast was not only super healthy, but also DELISH!  
Bonus: It was only 230 calories!
Now I'm going to take some of those saved calories and put them towards my alcohol consumption that will be taking place at tonights heated poker game.

Peas, love & thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Finding Balance

So I may already have a minor addiction to blogspot now. Following my first post I began to read, revise, and repeat at a frightening level. I then checked out some of my favorite blogs for pointers (at the right side of the page, these ladies are pretty awesome!) and fell asleep uncharacteristically late... and woke up to a mound of snow, at the end of March, but that's neither here nor there.
Today's post is about how I find a balance in my life.
Find an activity you love. For me, it's spinning. After a grueling 45 minutes I feel happy, confident, and accomplished. Since I try to keep a balance, I recently began yoga to counteract the intensity of spin. Namaste.

What do you love?
Search the Internet for your favorite cuisine. It's a great tool that allows you find recipes, read reviews and tailor meals to your specific needs and taste. Sometimes its not easy to sort the good from the bad so I will be posting some tried and true healthy recipes on here. Feel free to share yours also!
Also, choose organic when you can. It is expensive but if feasible try to buy organic items on the dirty dozen list (pictured to the right).  I also make sure to buy organic dairy products, poultry and other meats.
Embrace To-do Lists
There is nothing better than being able to cross off a few tasks that have been pushed aside for just a little too long. I am a planner by nature and make lists somewhat compulsively. Sit down, write out things that must be done, and tackle them head on! Motivational tip: write something down you already finished or are about to finish to jumpstart the crossing out extravaganza!
Make Time For Yourself
Read a book, have a glass of wine (or two...), call a friend, go out with friends, indulge in ice cream or a mini shopping spree. You deserve it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jumping on the Bandwagon

Well, here it goes!  I never thought that I would become a "blogger"  I mean, really, who would want to read my random thoughts?  But then everyday I felt like I had little pieces of advice or interesting tidbits that I wanted to share with people other than my dog (OK he's not a person, but he is a great listener) and my fiance.  So here I am!

A few things you should know about me:
-I am a first year special educator in NY, and in 2011 this means my job is consistently on the line
-I love my job, and have no idea what I would do if I lost it
-I also love learning about nutrition, so am contemplating going that in that direction if another career path is inevitable
-I became very passionate about fitness after graduating college and am always looking for a new butt kicking workout - but Zumba is out of the question, I am pretty sure my hips don't move like that.
-And most importantly, I am marrying my best friend this August

Trying to balance it all isn't easy, which is why I wanted to start writing about it.  I believe that you can work full time, enjoy it, keep yourself healthy through nutrition and fitness, have time for other important activities (like planning a wedding perhaps?) and still be happy and fulfilled in your life.

Tonight, I'll leave you with my favorite recipe & some pictures

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos (taken & modified from

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 filled tacos)


  • 2  teaspoons  chili powder
  • 1  teaspoon  sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground chipotle chile powder
  • 32  peeled and deveined large shrimp (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • 8  (6-inch) white corn tortillas
  • 2  cups  shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1  ripe avocado, peeled and cut into 16 slices
  • 3/4  cup  salsa 
  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt (highly suggest Fage 0%)


1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add shrimp, tossing to coat.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp mixture to pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from heat.
3. Heat tortillas according to the package, I place mine between two damp paper towels and microwave for 30-40 seconds; then top each tortilla with 3-4 shrimp, avocados, lettuce, greek yogurt & salsa 

Thanks for reading & enjoy!