I’m definitely still smiling as I continue to read the feedback from my last post So I’ll say it one more time: THANK YOU!
My, we’ve got some catching up to do, don’t we? Oh wait, hang on, I have to watch Michael Phelps kick Olympic ass swim the 200m butterfly…
GOOOOOOOOOOOLD!!! World Record!!!!
But wait, why does he look so unhappy? Did anyone else notice that? Maybe he’s just exhausted from all that swimming. I’d completely understand that.
Sorry for the digression. Let’s get to the food!
For breakfast, I tried a new combination that was inspired by Sarah from Our Kitchen Adventures, who has been enjoying it for quite a while now: Greek yogurt + wheatberries!
Ahhhh, pure heaven. The creaminess of the yogurt combined with the chewiness of the wheatberries kept my mouth happy for a long time. This particular combination was made with a serving of Chobani yogurt, 1/8 cup wheatberries (soaked in water overnight) and about 2 tsp. maple syrup.
And of course, there was some Coffee Cocoa involved – in a mug that was perfect for a that Monday morning why-do-I-have-to-work feeling.
For my morning snack, I tried out a new Clif bar that I picked out with my cousin on our adventure to Whole Foods last weekend.
Clif Nectar Cacao. The dark chocolate walnut flavor. The label boasts 100% organic ingredients: Organic Dates, Organic Almonds, Organic Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Cocoa, Organic Coffee Concentrate, Organic Coffee. Nice, right? And here’s the nutrition information, courtesy of the Clif site:
Calories: 160 – Fat: 6g – Sat. Fat: 1.5g – Carbohydrates: 27g – Fiber: 5g – Sugars: 20g – Protein: 3g
Looking at the nutrition facts, the amount of sugar stands out to me. I mean, the only “sweet” ingredients are organic dates and organic cocoa, right? It was kind of confusing. Here’s what the bar looks like:
Well, the sugar was worth it to me, because this bar was delicious! You definitely have to be a chocolate lover to enjoy it, but immediately upon biting into it, the rich taste of dark chocolate fills your mouth. I can still sense it in my mouth as I write about it! And there were little pieces of walnut throughout the bar to give it a slight crunch, but overall, it was very chewy and smooth. If I was an Olympic judge, and Clif Nectar Cacao was the athlete, it would earn a perfect 10. I’m serious! But only if you love your chocolate.
I went out to lunch with my mentor at Hannah’s Bretzel. Oh how I love being treated to lunch at organic restaurants! And the best part was, I saved part of my sandwich and drink for later and in doing so, realized I would be able to take a picture of it after all – hurray! I had an Honest Tea to drink. I know my cousin recommended these to me on our grocery trip, so I was excited to see what it was like. I really enjoyed this black forest berry flavor – I would definitely buy it again.
As for my sandwich, I had the Italian Parma Ham on a whole grain bretzel baguette. Here’s the 1/2 sandwich that I saved to finish later.
Gosh, I can’t even explain how good this sandwich is. First of all, I have yet to find a better tasting bread recipe. The baguette itself is spread with a sun dried tomato paste, then topped with parma ham, mozzarella and arugula.
The restaurant also gives you a choice of side: chips, raw veggies or nuts. I chose the soy nuts because I don’t have them very often. They were perfectly salted.
Toward the end of the work day, I started getting a little hungry, so I had a packet of David pumpkin seeds. It was nut and seed overload!
Dinner was a random assortment of goodies. I started with 1/2 cup whipped cottage cheese topped with some cinnamon raisin peanut butter.
Then I moved on to the carbohydrates with a big slice of Vegan Choconana Pudding Bread topped with some raspberry jam.
And then I headed back for some more protein, finishing my dinner with two liquid egg whites microwaved poached with some goat cheese.
After dinner, I went to the gym for an evening cardio session on the elliptical. It was a good chance to work my legs, which were feeling stiff and sore from their hard workout on Sunday! When I came home, I had my usual bedtime treat while watching the Olympics – frozen grapes!
And now for today’s eats! Breakfast this morning was a nice ‘n easy bowl of stovetop oats, complete with a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, 1/2 sliced banana, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and a spoonful of peanut butter.
My craving for oatmeal has returned with a vengeance. I think it has to do with the cooler weather (well, relatively cooler) that we’ve been having for the past few days. I was actually cold in my room this morning!
But after the oatmeal and usual mug of Coffee Cocoa, I was feeling much warmer.
For a morning snack, I tried out another new bar today that I received as a free sample at some point.
I’ve tried the Kashi version of this bar and loved it, so I was expecting the same out of this one.
And it definitely tasted good. But then I took a closer inspection of the label and realized that there was both HFCS and partially hydrogenated oil (aka trans fat) in the ingredient list. I really need to take a closer look at free samples before I eat them But Quaker, I still love you (and, if you’re reading, would be overwhelmingly happy to work for you someday). I just won’t be trying your granola bars again until you get that stuff out of there. I have to be an unbiased blogger! Please and thank you.
Lunch today was so crisp and fresh. I got a salad from Ponte Fresco and ate it outside in the cooler air, listening to music on the Chicago street. Lovely!
My salad boasted a plethora of great ingredients: spinach, artichokes, black beans, chickpeas, black olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, water chestnuts and diced chicken. It was tossed with an Oriental Toasted Sesame dressing that is just yum!
For an afternoon snack, I had a skim mocha from Hannah’s Bretzel because I started to get a little too cold in that office building!
Whew! There sure are a lot of pictures in this post, aren’t there?! Think you can handle just a few more? Here’s dinner. I started out with a bowl of low sodium tomato soup and a side of Kashi crackers that I’ve had in my pantry for ages.
Then I made a second platter that included a carrot with PB (still lovin’ it!), sliced deli turkey and AmyLu andouille chicken sausage, both topped with honey dijon mustard.
And what better way to cap off an already scrumptious dinner than with a square of Ghirardelli dark chocolate? One thing I’ve noticed about myself lately is that I used to consider chocolate “off limits” because of its fat content 👿 Instead, I’d load up on candy and sugar, thinking it was the “better of two evils.” But now, knowing that 1) chocolate (especially dark) is good for you in small amounts and 2) you can enjoy anything in moderation, I can’t get enough of the stuff!!
After dinner, I headed to the gym for another cardio night + ab workout. It feels good to be back on track with exercise – I missed the adrenaline rush when I had to stay late at work every night last week. Exercise really just makes me feel good now – I truly believe what they say about it being an antidepressant, although apparently that notion is now being questioned (click the link for more).
And of course, it should go without saying that I had these while I was writing this monster of a post.
Just saw Michael Phelps & Co. (I’m sure his teammates would just love to know I’m calling them “& Co.”) win another gold and break another world record by 5 SECONDS!