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Touristy

Good afternoon and happy Friday! 

The days of the week don’t mean too much to me nowadays since every day is like a weekend (be jealous but not too jealous…it gets old I promise).

But not every day feels like a vacation, however. Today definitely did though! I acted like a tourist and explored Philadelphia all day.

I was originally planning on waking up at the same time as Max (~7:30am) to go running while he heads off to work, but I had an insomniac night and was exhausted in the a.m. So I chose to sleep in instead 🙂 I’ve been meaning to condition my body to acclimate to early morning runs but training myself to wake up early has been ridiculously (and pathetically) difficult.

Instead of running when I later woke up at 9:30, I headed out to get some breakfast.

The Green Line Cafe was my intended destination and I already knew what I wanted.

Coffee+ a Vegan Chicken Sandwich (tempeh & Veganaise on a whole wheat bun)= YUM!

Post breakfast I felt the need to go exploring (and visit Trader Joe’s…it’s an addiction I know…shhh!) so I made the ~2 mile walk to the main part of the city.

There was plenty to see along the way! I mainly walked through the University of Pennsylvania campus but I also visited part of Drexel University.

It was hot hot hot out! Rehydration was crucial 🙂

Iced Passion Tea from Starbucks= one of my fav cold drinks eva!

The walk was filled with luscious greenery as well…definitely a perk in my book!

Soon I crossed the bridge into the main part of Philadelphia.

Now I was a full-blown tourist taking pics left and right non-stop.

I just couldn’t resist!

The Comcast Center was the tallest building in the entire city.

Maybe I’m a bit bias but in my mind nothing and no other city even comes close to comparing to my beautiful Chicago ♥

Philadelphia is still a gorgeous city though! Very homey 🙂

Soon enough I reached my destination:

♥♥♥

Crazy I know right.

Groceries:
yogurt
green protein drink
electrolyte water
coconut water
strawberries
blueberries
2 apples
dark chocolate

Afterwards, I briefly met up with Max (he works a couple of blocks away) and handed the bag off to him so that I wouldn’t have to lug it the 2.5 miles back home.

Food was on my mind once again so when I passed by a vegetarian/meditterranean food cart I knew I had to stop.

Lunch was half of a whole wheat pita with some freshly made hummus and a garden veggie salad.

Strawberries for dessert 🙂

Oh and I also found LOVE on the walk back home!

Yes, it’s been a perfect touristy day indeed 🙂

“Grace brings contentment”

~From Russia With Love~

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Posted by on July 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Detox Recap

I survived my detox week!!!

Melodramatic much? In all honesty it didn’t feel like a detox at all. I ate how I typically eat and only avoided coffee, meat (fish), and sugary foods. I also avoided alcohol all week but yesterday I went out for a drink with some friends after seeing Bad Teacher (horrible!) and caved for a glass of red wine. Oops. I just considered it my celebratory I-survived-my-“detox”-week reward 🙂

But lets back up a couple of days.

Saturday was fantastic! The sun was lacking but the air was warm and summery. I started the day off with a buckwheat bake (shocker). I really should call it “microwaved buckwheat breakfast pie” or something like hat since I never actually tried to bake it. One day, folks, one day.

This MBBP (haha!) was unique though! I felt experimental and adventurous so I opted for a strawberry-rhubarb flavor. I first made a quick stawb-rhub jam by boiling farmer’s market strawberries and rhubarb together with honey for about 15 minutes.

The final product was out.of.this.world. I’ve always been obsessed with sourness and this definitely hit the spot. Sweet+sour= heaven.

I mixed it into my MBBP nuked it for 3.5 minutes. Meanwhile, I mixed together some of the jam with my homemade Nutella as an added scrumptious topping.

The topping may not have an appealing color but trust me, it was fantastic.

Good to the very last bite!

A few hours after breakfast my fab running partner and I hit the streets for our long run.

Once again I surprised myself by busting out 5 miles!!!

Oh it was glorious! I couldn’t be more proud of myself 🙂

As expected post-run, starvation hit me like a pile of bricks and I raced drove home to create this hydrating green beauty:

In the mix:
Spinach
Kale
Almond milk
Flax seed (ground)
Banana
Blueberries

It held off my hunger for ~2 hours until our planned barbecue dinner!

On the menu? Hamburgers (for the parentals), grilled portabella mushrooms and grilled pizza!!!

I used the whole-wheat pizza dough I created and froze a couple of weeks ago and it was still fantastic!

I stuffed my face with an open-faced portobella burger and plenty of slices (5!) of pizza.

Slightly altered version of a pizza margherita:

Vegan pizza with grilled onions, spinach, tomato sauce and avocado:

I wobbled away with a full belly and a happy heart 

On Sunday the weather was much improved. I celebrated by buying myself a new pair of shoes (kidding…kind of). Breakfast was not too shabby either: scottish oats with strawberry-rhubarb jam and organic blueberries. Hmm it’s been a while!

As I mentioned earlier, I also met up with some friends for movies and drinks. Thus came the glass of wine. No more words needed.

Overall my detox week was not too bad! I drank Kombucha every morning and avoided what I declared for the most part (dark chocolate also snuck into my meals :/). I have been having minor cravings for coffee all week but today I woke up and just wasn’t feeling it at all.

But what I “surprisingly” was feeling was a nice buckwheat bake…or should I say MBBP?

Today’s flavor of choice was cherry (one of my favs!) topped with remaining strawberry-rhubarb jam.

I adore cherries…yumyumyummy!

My other dessert for the day?

Banana-cherry softserve with dark chocolate. I was obviously on a cherry kick all day.

Ok kiddos I’m off to go and continue to be lazy…have a great night!

“Always be pure, simple and honest”

~From Russia With Love~

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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A Quick Mid-Week Meal

A Quick Mid-Week Meal

The days of the week always seem to fly by when an exam is near.

It’s already Thursday!! Where did the week go?!? Even worse…the entire month of March ends today!

Whoa.

Luckily, I love Thursdays because my weekend officially starts today!

Hmm too bad the weekend will be filled with studying, studying, and more studying 😦

You always miss what you don’t have, and right now for me that is time.

Yesterday I came home from a group meeting completely starving (I hate group projects!), and wanted to whip up a quick meal instead of reheating leftovers. Pasta usually bores me but last night just thinking about it made me drool.

It all came to me in the blink of an eye. Right before leaving for spring break, I froze a bunch of food instead of throwing it out. One such food was a frozen mashed avocado. A few weeks ago I also froze a container of my Carrot-Onion Dip, and it was time to use it as well.

Out came this satisfying creation:

CREAMY CARROT N’ KALE PASTA

Ingredients:

-3/4 cup whole wheat penne pasta

-1/2 cup carrot-onion dip

-1/2 of an avocado, mashed

-1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (I used baby bella)

-3-4 large kale leaves, chopped into small pieces

Directions:

1.) Boil some water and cook the pasta until soft, about 15 minutes.

2.) Meanwhile, in a medium pan sauté the mushrooms, carrot-onion dip, and kale until the mushrooms are cooked and the kale is shriveled.

3.) After the pasta is done cooking, drain it and add it into the pan with the “sauce” made in step 2. Add in the mashed avocado and stir to coat all of the pasta.

Serves 1 hungry college student

Enjoy!

So so so good! What a quick and satisfying dinner for one!

This morning I couldn’t resist another bowl of my porridge, except this time I used ground-up rolled oats instead of steel cut oats. I also topped it with fresh mango.


I am battling a serious addiction to this porridge and just might succumb to it daily.

No complaints though 🙂

Lunch was also scrumptious and nutritious and consisted of my fav sandwich: the Healthwich!

I used Ezekiel bread, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado (), grilled onions and mushrooms, eggplant spread, and kalamata olive hummus.

Don’t forget to drink green tea with your meal! It’s no mystery that green tea holds vast nutritional and health benefits. I also remember reading somewhere that the nutrients and antioxidants in green tea are better absorbed with lemon and during a meal, so I always drink my green tea with a sliver of fresh lemon.

It always makes my day 🙂

“To be great, feel great and act great”

~From Russia With Love~

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Goin’ Green Yet Again

Goin’ Green Yet Again

Green seems to be a prominent theme in my life lately. First Unofficial, now this (read on)! I think my mind is trying to subconsciously tell me that I’m missing spring!

I will probably jump with joy the moment I see a little green leaf or stem popping out of the ground!

So what is today’s dose of green?

The first one is planting. That’s right! Despite living in a small apartment with very limited light (totally to blame for all of my yellowish pictures), I decided on a whim to buy some herb seeds to plant.

I bought dill, basil, and parsley. The three packets cost me a grand total of…$1!!! Seriously, if these seeds actually grow, I will be saving so much money by not having to buy fresh herbs. Plus…it’s better for the environment 🙂

I have a special place in my heart for dill. The herb…not some random man 🙂 It is said that scent is the strongest sense tied to memory (was that in my bio class or the Axe commercial?), and when I smell dill I instantly remember my visits to Russia. Dill is major component in many of the dishes there. My mom uses it all the time in her cooking, and when I smell dill I always long for home (both the suburbs home and the motherland home).

Another item I bought was this fantastic egg planter. I just couldn’t resist!

It was so much fun cracking the ceramic egg…it was almost like the real thing!

Cross your fingers…in 7-14 days I should see some marigold stems popping out of the soil!

One can only hope…

Going with the green theme, two nights ago I decided to make some thick n’ creamy spinach soup. A few days ago I bought a huge tub of spinach and have had the idea for this soup floating around in my head ever since.

Here is my scrumptious creation!

I started by chopping up the onions, potatoes, and garlic.


 

Combine all ingredients in a pot and cook until the potatoes are soft.

 

Add in the spinach and stir until it is wilted.

 

Transfer the mixture into a blender and blend! You will start to see a beautiful green color emerge.

 

Ta Da!

 

SPINACH SOUP

Ingredients:

-3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

-2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

-1 medium onion, chopped

-2 hearty cups of spinach

-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

-2 Tbs. tomato paste (I used unsalted)

-1 Tbs. olive oil

-1/4 tsp. smoked paprika (optional but I highly suggest it)

-1/2 tsp. bay leaves

-1/2 tsp. basil

-salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1.) Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil in a large pot until soft.

2.) Add in the potatoes, vegetable broth, spices, and tomato paste and boil until potatoes are soft- about 20 minutes.

3.) Add the spinach in bunches and allow it to wilt.

4.) Transfer the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Make sure to hold the lid down!

5.) Transfer mixture back into the pot and allow to cook for a few more minutes. If the soup appears to be too thick, add a bit of water or stock until desired consistency is reached.

*Makes ~3 servings (hey I live by myself I can’t make massive amounts of food!)

This soup is so thick and creamy you won’t even notice that it’s completely vegan!

 

Unfortunately, it’s still cold and dreary outside. I guess I’ll have to keep satisfying my green cravings with my cooking!

The only part of me that’s truly complaining is my body’s inability to tolerate cold. And rain. And snow.

“Inspiring others towards happiness brings you happiness.”

~From Russia With Love~

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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