Saturday, February 27, 2010

Love Me Do

  • You're Beautiful! I just watched America the Beautiful and highly recommend it!! An excellent documentary exposing how obsessed america is with beauty, encompassing a whole range of issues-from modeling, self-esteem, advertising, eating disorders, and plastic surgery. You can get it from Netflix as well!!

  • What is your food environment? the USDA just launched a brand-new atlas that breaks down your region and what is eaten. How many lbs of fruits and veggies or soda do you and your neighbors down each year? How does that compare to the rest of the country? I find this application fascinating!
  • SLOW DOWN A newly released study confirms that eating slowly increases satisfaction, and satiety, while decreasing caloric intake. The NYTimes also reported on this story, referencing even more scientific studies. This is something I personally need to work on!
  • Refuel! Worried that you're not eating right for your exercise level? No Meat Athlete has some excellent refueling tips!
  • Olympics Love: Just another reason to love Bode Miller- he's an organic farmer!
  • Go Fast: I'm getting amped about starting a new marathon training plan, at a higher level (so what if it doesn't start for 4 more months??) For any beginning maratoners out there, two things I recommend- Read Born To Run and check out Hal Higdon's Plans!
"Running should be a lifelong activity. Approach it patiently and intelligently, and it will reward you for a long, long time. " -Michael Sargent
Enjoy Your Weekend!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's a Miracle!!

go ask alice....
No, I have never done acid or smoked hash, but now I can say I have gone Taste Tripping!
Ever since reading this article in the New York Times I have wanted to experiment with miracle fruit. So, since no one I knew was throwing that party any time soon, I decided to do it myself!

From said Article:

The miracle fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, is native to West Africa and has been known to Westerners since the 18th century. The cause of the reaction is a protein called miraculin, which binds with the taste buds and acts as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids, according to a scientist who has studied the fruit, Linda Bartoshuk at the University of Florida’s Center for Smell and Taste. Dr. Bartoshuk said she did not know of any dangers associated with eating miracle fruit.

There's all sorts of rumors that the only reason it used to be banned by the FDA was do to the lucrative business and power of non-nutritive sweeteners currently on the market. But the appeal of a natural fruit, that could do what splenda and stevia, and good ol' plain sugar could do, was very enticing.

I ordered the berries from Miracle Fruit Man, which had excellent customer service and got the berries to me, freeze-dried in 2 days, from Florida.

Then I gathered supplies

and let the party begin

my apartment pretty much reached capacity

Janel and her friend Nicole even stopped by!

I have never been so nervous over food in my life. I was so afraid it wouldn't work-that I'd eat this berry and lemons would still make me pucker. But after chewing the berry, which tasted pleasant enough, for about a minute, I grabbed a lemon wedge and practically reached nirvana.

Lemons tasted like lemon drop candy! Blackberries were divine, and grapefruit sublime. Vinegar and Wine tasted like juice, siracha chili sauce was pleasant.

Double Chocolate Stout and Guinness tasted like chocolate milkshakes, and I'm a beer hater. Broccoli with lemon juice was sweet, and possibly an acquired taste. personally i love my broccoli just the way it is!

For two hours my tastebuds were altered and I was in a lemony state of bliss, while running up and down to let guests in. Miracle Fruit is at the top of my food-related experiences and I highly recommend it! The effects are different for everyone though, I have two friends who had mild or no response to the fruit, which is always a disappointment. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you plunge teeth first into the magical world of miracle fruit!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Very Merry First Birthday to Me

It got a little lost in all of the Super Breakfast Bowl Excitement, but this blog turned 1 two weeks ago!

a very merry birthday bloggity!

It's Been a Very Big year for me, and I'm so glad I have this blog to recap some of the nutrition/food/fitness highlights! Such as:
Things to Look Forward to in Year 2:
  • Marathon #2:In addition to my regular classes, which I am loving (Med Nutrition Therapy, exercise physiology, food service management, us healthcare and public policy), i'm taking a marathon training course. This is a second semester course, and the pre-req is having already taking semester 1 or run a marathon. I've done the latter, and this class is really pushing me to be faster long distance runner. I have a really hard time pushing myself to do track and pace work, and it's been a great experience. Plus its a great, diverse group of students, and we have two excellent leaders! it's meant to be part of a training plan for a spring marathon, which I'm not doing. My running plan is to run a half or two, maybe a 10K this summer, and I just registered for the Chicago Marathon in October! I'm really pumped! I'm doing it with one of my best friends from home, and staying at Pri's home! I've never visited this windy city and I can't wait to spend Columbus Day weekend wandering!
  • Naked Feet: I've also embarked on the world of barefoot running. After reading Born to Run (if you have not read this yet, GO OUT NOW AND BUY IT!!! one of the most inspirational books i have ever read!!), I was jonesin' to tear off my shoes and go run 100 miles in the dessert. But I joined a meet-up with four friendly barefoot runners at Tory Row, which was also very inspiring. So after a regular run on Saturday, I ran to our gym, and left my shoes behind as I ran around the indoor track. (i'm not that tough to brave the frigid boston sidewalks in february!) IT FELT SO GOOD! I just ran .8 miles but it felt amazing! I was so fast and free! (my calves and toes were a bit sore the next day though! I always forget just how many muscles there are in my feet!) There is also excellent research being conducted at Harvard right now, adding more scientific proof that this is the way to run.
  • Stirrin' up a little controversy- let's debate, shall we? Soy vs. animal protein? Should I be 100% raw? What about vitamins? organic vs nonorganic
  • More Challenges! Superbreakfast Bowl has been so fun and successful, look for more in the future!
  • Change is a foot! New blog layouts/getting rid of that pesky .blogspot bit. hopefully a real set of headshots as well. Um, maybe I will win Zesty Cook's Blog Makover Giveaway?? That would be great! (check it out for yourself!)
  • Meet Your Dietitian: To celebrate Nutrition Month this March I'll be sharing some great interviews with a few of my Dietitian Role Models! Not only will this be a great opportunity for me to learn more about my career possibilities, but I think you will enjoy seeing what its like to be a RD!
  • Lists of Love Inspired by The Green Fork, Fake Food Free and CHG's end of the week lists, I plan on posting a list of things I'm loving every Saturday. Check out the first one here!
  • More Trips, More Reviews, More Adventures!! I want to keep myself and YOU on our toes, always trying new things, and embracing this fun adventure called LIFE.
Thank you thank you to everyone who has ever read this blog, left a comment or a nice note. You really make my days!

I look forward to sharing more with you, and hearing what you have to say as well! This upcoming year is going to be great, I just know it!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Where is the love

Things I am loving, Right Here, Right Now
Blogger Playlists

I'm slowly updating my itunes after getting a gift card for christmas, so of course i looked to the blogging community for new jams In the Gym posts great themed playlists, as does Fitness NYC and The Fitnessista

Mei Ratz Photography

our mothers went to lamaze class together, what more is there to say? she may be on odd 23 days younger than me, but she is a fiery ball of inspiration and goodwill. and she launched a brand new website from her blog, so you should check it out! (cant wait for my 1 of 1 print!) she's a strong, brave, beautiful woman i'm glad to know

My Grain CSA

Annabelle, Jess and I split a halfshare of a local grain share. Now my beans and grains are all local too! I hope to share some fun recipes soon!

Good Reads:

Thrive Fitness, Raw for Dessert, and Animal Vegetable Miracle! hope to have full reviews up soon!

The Chicago Marathon

Registered and somehow coerced at least four friends to run their first marathon with me. I'm getting really excited to visit Chi-town for the first time in October! Don't forget Exercise Keeps cells young. And when I'm feeling a little sore, there's nothing better than Lush's Wiccy Magic Muscles Massage Bar, for delightful cinnamony massage


in t-2 weeks. maybe i should start reading those travel books??

What are you loving right now?? I'm just dying to know!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Walnut Winner

The Super Breakfast Bowl Challenge: Friday’s Walnut Winner!

Thanks to all who participated in the Super Breakfast Bowl Challenge! I definitely have a whole slew of new recipes I’m going to be trying out!

Today’s winner is Nour from Practical Nutrition with her recipe for Banana Walnut Flax Muffins! Nour will be the proud new owner of Futter Nut Butters walnut butter and Mollie Katzen’s cookbook, Get Cooking.

Banana Walnut Muffins

No time for breakfast? Make these delicious and healthy muffins ahead of time and grab on your way out. Made with whole wheat, flax seeds, walnuts, canola oil, and bananas, these muffins are an excellent source of many good-for-you foods. Even kids would love it!


    1. 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour

    1. 3/4 c ground flax seeds

    1. 1/4 c sugar

    1. 1 tsp baking soda

    1. 1 egg

    1. 1 tsp vanilla

    1. 1/4 c canola oil

    1. 1/4 c reduced fat milk

    1. 3 ripe bananas, mashed

    1. 1/2 c walnuts


In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, flax, sugar, and baking soda). In a separate bowl, mix the liquid ingredients (egg, vanilla, oil, milk, and bananas).

Stir the liquids in the dry ingredients. Fold in the walnuts. If the batter is too dry, add more milk. Pour into 12 paper-lined muffin cups.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Thanks to all who took part in this blog challenge!


A Fete For Food

Thanks to everyone who entered the challenge and our wonderful sponsors! Congrats to the winners, and don't be upset if you didn't win-there are more challenges in the works!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Super Breakfast Bowl Challenge Quinoa Winner!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lentil Winner for The Super Breakfast Bowl Challenge

Welcome to the Lentil Day winner announcement for the Super Breakfast Bowl Challenge! We had so many tasty looking lentil submissions to choose from. You guys really are creative using little legumes in your morning meal! I'm glad I cooked up and froze a big batch of lentils weeks ago so I have plenty to use in all of these new recipes. They all looked so tasty I had to leave it up to the random number generator to choose and the lentil winner is....Julie from The Doctors Rheum! I never would have thought to combine pear and lentils but love this Pear Lentil Patty recipe.

Pear-Lentil Patties

This was a total experiment based on what I had in the house!

Cook 1/2 cup lentils in 1 cup water until soft.

Caramelize 1/2 a sweet yellow onion in EVOO with a dash of cumin and a dash of cinnamon.

Chop a ripe pear.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor pulsing several times until just combined.

Shape into patties and cook on a hot pan or griddle like pancakes.

Made: 4 large patties

I added a beaten egg to see if it would hold together better and it made it a little soupy. Use your imagination. They seem to me like "sausage" patties so I put one on a toasted English muffin and put a poached egg on top. The taste is a sweet/savory mix. They did not hold together too well but the ones that fell apart could be used as "sausage" crumbles.

Congrats Julie and thank you for the superb recipe and photos! Make sure you send your mailing address to so we can send you your prizes: the awesome book Thrive—The Vegan Nutrition Guide and the handy book 101 Optimal Life Foods by Registered Dietitian (aka Gu-a-titian) Dave Grotto.

Thanks again to everyone who submitted a recipe! And if you haven't yet, don't forget to send in your quinoa, andwalnut recipes! It's time to challenge your morning meal!

Janel from

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

And the Winner of the Flax Challenge is.....

Thank you to everyone that submitted a Flax recipe! They all looked delicious and I can't wait to try out some new recipes that all have our little omega-3 friend-Flax Seed. There's no way I could have ever picked my favorite, or "the best" recipe, so I headed over to to help me choose! Without further ado, The Winner of the Flax Seed Super Breakfast Bowl Challenge is....

Christine of Hot Mama Health with her
Nutty Granola 'n Flax


-1 1/2 C Oats

-1/2 C Ground Flaxseed

-3/4 C slivered almonds

-3/4 C walnuts

-3/4 C peanuts

-Salt to taste (added to dry ingredients above)

Mix dry ingredients above in a bowl and spread out onto a baking sheet w/ built up sides. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally.

-3/4 C Apricots (Chopped) or your favorite dried fruit

-1/2 C Raisins

-1/2 C Dried Mango (Chopped) or another dried fruit of your choosing

Chop the dried fruit and set aside.

In a pot melt:

-4 TBSP of vegan butter

once melted, mix in:

-1/2 C Packed brown sugar

-1/3 C Honey

-1/3 C Orange Juice

Stir until ingredients are completely mixed, remove from heat and add

-1 TSP vanilla


When the nuts are done roasting transfer to a bowl and add the melted wet ingredients, stir. Once mixed well, add the dried fruit. Mix well.

Put granola in an 8 x 8 pan, pack in firmly. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. When you see the sides are browning, it's time to remove.

Let cool completely, overnight is best.

Cut into granola squares OR take the squares and place in a large bowl and pull apart with hands to make a chunky granola!

Can eat plain, on top of oatmeal, or on top of your favorite yogurt! Delicious and rich, also makes a great dessert :)

Congrats Christine and thank you for the excellent recipe and photos! Send your mailing address to She will be receiving a Perfect Pancake Mix from Purely Elizabeth(gluten free and delicious!) and a whole slew of Vega Goodies and a tea top brew travel mug from Mighty Leaf Tea Company!

Thanks again to everyone who submitted a recipe! And if you haven't yet, don't forget to send in your lentil, quinoa, and walnut recipes! It's time to think outside the (cereal) box!



Don’t (White) Sugar-Coat It

I just love giveaways so here's a few more you should know about: Simply Savor is giving away Maranatha Nut Butters, and Gena's giving away a Tribest Blender !!

Monday, February 15, 2010

We Have a Winner for Avocado: Chocolate Chai Pudding!

The Super Breakfast Bowl Challenge #1: Avocado Winner! Lindsey Toth from Healthy Blog Snack

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend, and I hope you’re ready for the winner of The Super Breakfast Bowl Challenge #1: Avocado!

First of all, thank you to everyone for all of your submissions. I was amazed with your breakfast creativity, and impressed that so many of you stepped up to take on the challenge – congrats to all of you on your breakfast creations!

Although all of your creations were amazing, unfortunately there can only be one winner. So using the random integer generator, the winner of The Super Breakfast Bowl Challenge #1 is… drum roll please…

Danielle of Coffee Run with her fabulous Rocky Road Oatmealcongratulations Danielle!

Danielle took on our challenge and created a delicious Chocolate Chai Pudding with avocado, which she incorporated into a whole slew of breakfast creations – including her delicious looking Rocky Road Oatmeal. Congratulations on the win Danielle, send us your address at, and be on the look-out for your prizes in the mail: The Chef’n Vibe Avocado Slicer, courtesy of Kitchen Stuff Plus, an avocado gift pack, courtesy of Avocados from Mexico, and a ton of Newman’s Own Organic products.

Now, time to share Danielle’s RockinRocky Road Oatmeal recipe…

Rocky Road Oatmeal



Chocolate Chai Pudding

1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted

12 oz. (1 block) silken tofu

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. allspice

Sweetener, to taste (I used 5 packets of Nu Naturals Stevia. You could also use agave- starting with 1/3 cup and adding more if desired)

Rocky Road Oatmeal

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup water

Slices of banana

Coconut Cream

Crushed Walnuts

Chocolate Chai Pudding


Chocolate Chai Pudding

1) Blend ingredients together

2) Serve and enjoy as a pudding! Or incorporate into the oatmeal as follows…

Rocky Road Oatmeal

1) Cook oats with water

2) Top with/mix in rest of ingredients (including Chocolate Chai Pudding)

3) Serve and enjoy!

Thanks again to everyone who submitted a recipe for the avocado challenge, and stay tuned for the winner of the Flax Seed Challenge tomorrow. There’s still time to submit your Flax Seed breakfast recipes today, so challenge yourself today!

Happy Super Breakfast Bowl Snacking!

Lindsey Toth at Healthy Blog Snack

This sounds amazing!! Thank you Lindsey and Danielle! Stay Tuned for tomorrow's Flax Winner!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Wonderful World of Walnuts

Super Breakfast Bowl Challenge, Day 5: The Wonderful World of Walnuts
We live in a nutty world where “foods” come packaged, bagged, boxed, and wrapped. It’s time to forgo the outer shell and crack into some real superfood: WALNUTS Walnuts have often got a bad rap, commonly being touted as the “fruitcake nut.” It’s time to redeem them and bring them into the nutritional limelight!

But first, what’s in it for you?
Futter Nut Butter agreed to let a lucky reader of the Super Breakfast Bowl Challenge try two jars of their awesome products! I bet you’ve never tried walnut butter before… here’s your chance! I also have a cookbook from Mollie Katzen called “Get Cooking.” Katzen is one of the experts for the California Walnut Board and her cookbook is no-nonsense, simple recipes that are chock-full of whole foods and delicious ingredients.

Onto the 411 about these nutritional gems…

Nutritional Lowdown

A little less than one-fourth cup of chopped walnuts, or a one-ounce serving, (or about 14 halves) provides 180 calories and 18 grams of fat. Whoa! EighTEEN grams of fat?! Well, 13 of these come from the polyunsaturated fat, and 2.5 grams come from alpha linolenic acid (ALA), a precursor to EPA and DHA, or the omega-3 fatty acids that we all hear are healthy for our heart. (After all, February is Heart Health Awareness Month.) But let’s not stop there. An ounce of walnuts also contains 4 grams of protein, fiber, manganese, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and a host of other good-for-you nutrients.

What’s ALA again?

Alpha linolenic acid is the omega-3 fatty acid precursor that is found in plant sources, as opposed to EPA and DHA, the omega-3s often heard about in fatty fish. Although there is no Dietary Reference Intake set by the government for ALA right now, the FDA recognizes that we should get 1.6 grams of ALA daily (for the purpose of nutrient content claims.) Since one ounce of walnuts contains 2.5 grams, you’re golden!

Aren’t walnuts going to make me fat?

Nope. Remember, calories in equals calories out, so while walnuts have more calories per gram than bread or meat, they can (and should) be incorporated into your diet, if, for nothing else, a chance to get in some much-needed ALA.

I’ve seen walnut oil in recipes. What’s this all about?

Walnut oil, like the more commonly recognized peanut oil, is the oil extracted from the nut. Walnut oil is a rich, luxurious nut oil and is great whisked with some balsamic vinegar and poured over a spinach salad with toasted walnuts and dried cranberries. Walnut oil has a relatively low smoke point, so it’s best not to heat it; buy it in small amounts, because the high amount of polyunsaturated fat oxidizes quickly when it comes in contact with air. As such, it’s best to refrigerate walnut oil and walnuts that have been cracked open or ones that you buy chopped. And, if you open a bag and they smell like paint thinner, toss ‘em! They’re rancid and are apt to do more harm than good.

How do you open shelled walnuts?

Here’s how it’s done. Kind of.

How do I get walnuts in for breakfast?

When I’m on the run and don’t have time for a steaming bowl of oats with chopped walnuts or nut butter, I snag one of these bars from my freezer. They’re simple to make, easy to transport, and very very delicious! I originally had the idea when I was training for a half marathon and buying Clif Nectar bars like they were going out of style. They were expensive, and I needed another way to meet my craving.

So, I have this corny and slightly inappropriate joke about this recipe that involves a date with a walnut, but I think I’ll keep that one to myself. Anyway, here’s a fabulous recipe for The Walnut-Date Breakfast Bar. In fact, it is my version of the Lemon, Vanilla and Cashew Clif Nectar Bar.

The Walnut-Date Breakfast Bar

(Note: They are not a beautiful food, but they sure are tasty.)

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped dates

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp olive oil


Add walnuts to food processor and pulse on high until walnuts are a crumbly powder. Transfer to a bowl. Add dates to food processor and pulse for about 20 seconds. Add walnuts, lemon juice, olive oil, and walnut powder and pulse until mixture is a fine paste. Transfer to a bowl and mix with your hands to combine. Make 8 1” mini-bars, transfer to a Ziplock bag or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. If you double the recipe, freeze them for later!

Nutrition Info: 1 bar: 120 calories, 3.5 gm fat (polyunsaturated), 23 gm carbohydrate, 2 gm fiber

For more information and recipes about walnuts and fabulous recipes, visit the California Walnut website.

Don’t forget- you have the weekend to test your recipes and submit your breakfast recipe for avocado (by Sunday), Monday for flaxseed, Tuesday for lentils, Wednesday for quinoa, and THURSDAY for the wonderful walnuts! I REALLY want you to win that walnut butter and Mollie Katzen’s cookbook! Make sure to email your breakfast creations to!

Best of luck and happy breakfasting!


A Fete For Food

Whew! this has been a wonderful, whirlwind of a week!! Can't wait to read all of your recipes and pick a winner! Enjoy your long weekend-I know I will!