Good Morning! Summer is over (blah!) and I guess I’ll have to reconcile myself to cooler weather approaching (still in denial). Anyway, I woke up super- early this morning with a major craving for pancakes – which almost NEVER happens. I’ve read (and tried) random recipes for 2 ingredient, almond flour and coconut flour pancakes but many of them end up either being too crumbly or too banana-y. So I threw together this concoction and the result was surprisingly (miraculously??) quite good – by my standards anyway! So without further ado, here’s the recipe for my version of Coconut Flour Pancakes (gluten free) and yummy! Makes 2 servings; 3 pancakes/serving.
Coconut Flour Pancakes (gluten free)
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 cup eggbeaters
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond mik (or other milk of choice)
1/2 mashed banana
2 tsp. ground flax
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, or use a food processor (easier and faster!)
2. Spray a non-stick frying pan or griddle with cooking spray or oil, and heat on medium heat.
3. Use 3 Tbsp batter for each pancake. Let the pancakes form and cook on one side (1-2 min) before flipping. Cook on the other side for 30 seconds – 1min. Repeat with remaining batter.
4. Top with peanut butter and banana slices (my preference!) and devour.
Nutrition (per serving of 3 pancakes – no toppings): Approx. 100 calories; 12 g carbs; 7.5 g protein; 1 g fat
Hello folks!! Hope your summer is going well – although I’m sad that it’s almost over I start classes and my hospital internship in a week and although I’m looking forward to the experience and starting the last leg of my RD journey, I’m sad to see the summer end. I only managed 1 trip to the beach this year (pitiful I know) due to classes and work etc.
Anyway, this past week seemed more depressing than any other week during the summer …and I’m not quite sure why. Maybe it was the thought of summer ending, anxiety over my upcoming races, frustration….and/or probably also the fact that I was exhausted and my legs felt like lead all week long. In hindsight I should have a taken a couple of days off from working out – but the Type A personality in me refused to do so and still wanted to do some “easy swims” during the week. Anyway, suffice it to say that I didn’t run the entire week – and that may also have contributed to my pissiness. Well…I ran 6 miles today (granted I stopped twice to get water and stretch but I still did it)…and the pissiness has gone Maybe it’s a runner’s high or maybe I just snapped out of it – but I firmly believe there’s truth in the “runner’s high.” I love all kinds of activities – swimming, biking, weight training, yoga….but the runner in me still loves a good run. There’s something about running that just makes me happy – and I don’t get that same feeling from cycling (maybe swimming)…but it’s hard to say. Anyway, long story short, I’ve been really slacking on my running lately and it shows. So it’s time to change that, especially with a stressful semester coming up. My goal is to run 3-4 times a week…short or long, doesn’t matter…just do it. I will probably be a healthier, happier, calmer and less pissier person for it
What activities help keep you calm and make you feel more centered? For some it’s yoga, meditation, or walking. For others, like me, it’s a mixture of running, swimming and yoga…
One of the things I always loved about summer was the chance to catch up on my reading. Reading for fun that is…not the “textbook and research article” reading that has marked the last few
months years of my life. A long, long time ago I would read all kinds of fiction – from travel biographies to classics and Russian novels. Lately though, it’s been reading on specific areas of nutrition…geriatric, pediatric, medical etc. Well this summer I actually managed to pick up and finish a book for fun – one that one of my friends lent me, and I’m so glad that I spent some lazy afternoons (and late nights) reading it.
Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner turned out to be a great summer read; it was light-hearted and yet it delved into the complexities of relationships, marriage, divorce and parenthood with compassion and with a refreshing clarity. Weiner, who has written Good in Bed and In Her Shoes among several other books, leaves you with a quiet sense of liking for the characters – and with a strange sense of calm about your own life. It reminds you that no-one is perfect, no relationship is perfect and everyone has flaws and doubts as well as strengths and weakness. I finished the book early this morning (thanks to a miserable bout of insomnia) and it left me with a weird feeling of “I know my life isn’t perfect but that’s OK,” and one of the phrases from the book that really stuck with me was “There’s no right way to live your life. You just do the best you can.” (Weiner, Fly Away Home, 2011). I think sometimes we all need to remember that when we’re feeling a little frazzled or unsure of some decisions.
I’ve already read Good in Bed and In Her Shoes, but I think I’m going to order her other books and try to get some more light-hearted reading in before my crazy Fall semester starts. Anyway, if you’re looking for an easy and enjoyable read that makes you feel good, I’d recommend Fly Away Home. And if you do read it, let me know what you think!
Anyone else read any good books this summer?
1/2 cup sliced almonds + 2 Tbsp whole almonds roughly chopped
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 chopped dates (could use dried cranberries instead)
1/4 cup egg whites
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients above until thoroughly combined. Spread onto a large baking sheet lined with foil (use a cooking spray or coconut oil to grease the foil so that the granola doesn’t stick).
3. Spread mixture onto the foil and bake for 18-20 minutes, removing once to stir at 10 minutes. Check the granola periodically after 15 minutes to prevent burning.
4. Allow to cool completely before storing in a jar/tupperware container in the fridge (maintains crispness).
Makes about 11-12 1/4 cup servings, about 130-140 calories each (Total calories for recipe = 1520)
Topping ideas: sliced berries, bananas, coconut or almond milk, or yogurt!
Good Morning! Hope everyone is having a great summer and a fabulous weekend! My summer has been filled with grad classes, some pool-time, work and some messing around in the kitchen. Some of you may know that I’m doing a graduate degree in Food & Nutrition and am in a Dietetics program to be an RD. If all goes well, I’ll be done next summer – and then comes the big job hunt and move (hopefully to Florida!).
Anyway, being in the field of Nutrition I’m always fascinated by any developments in this area – and lately I’ve become more curious about the whole Paleo Lifestyle. Now I’m not saying that I’m suddenly “going Paleo,” – all I’m saying is that I’m intrigued about really understanding the science behind it. I whole-heartedly support the idea of eating minimally processed food and avoiding packed goods as much as possible. That being said, I also know that with our busy lifestyle it’s almost impossible to cook form scratch all of the time – and we inevitably end up buying and consuming some packaged and processed items. Keep in mind though that we also live a very different lifestyle from our “Paleolithic ancestors”…They didn’t have modern technology or office jobs and packed schedules – and for them, survival was the primary goal. WIth that in mind, I often question some premises of the popular Paleo diet – specifically the move towards consuming more animal fats and saturated fats. I don’t think I’m quite on board with it simply because our lifestyle is so different – I’m not out hunting for my food or dragging carcasses home for dinner, nor do I wonder about when my next meal will be. I don’t need to “starve” for long periods of time due to a lack of food…so do I really need to eat like my Paleolithic ancestors? Shouldn’t I just try to eat more whole foods…like vegetables, meat, fish, fruit nuts etc but not necessarily as much saturated fat?Bottom line is – I don’t think we need to try and emulate our ancestors to a T, but eating less processed foods is certainly a good idea!
I’m also intrigued by the argument that grains and legumes lead to inflammation in our bodies (an argument presented by some authors of Paleo books), and that the insulin response is what leads to obesity. Actually – insulin is not the bad guy here. Insulin is a hormone in your body that helps certain cells (those with insulin receptors) remove glucose from your blood and use it for energy. So if you are about to embark on any exercise, supplying your cells with energy is a good thing! Perhaps what the authors are arguing is that we consume too many carbohydrates (particularly processed carbohydrates) in our diet and have excessive glucose-insulin responses in our body….(?). To be fair, I haven’t read any of the books on Paleo yet – but I ordered a couple yesterday to really try and understand the authors’ viewpoint. Once I’ve read them and thought about it, I’ll follow up with another post on this subject.
In support of Paleo though, I do believe that we should consume more of our carbohydrates from unprocessed sources such as vegetables and fruit and less from processed flours. There seems to be an increase in gluten sensitivity and celiac disease in the last few years as well as allergies to peanuts etc, and I wonder if it’s due to the high degree of processing in our food industry. I’ve been eating gluten-free for the last couple of years and have noticed a huge difference in how I feel – no more chronic fatigue, anemia or migraines and that’s why I’m also really curious about the premise behind a grain free diet. I may actually try an experiment and go grain-free for a couple of weeks – just to see how I feel on a more “Paleo” diet (though I will still be eating legumes I think). Anyway, one of the recipes I’ve had on my mind for a while is a Grain-Free Granola (nothing new…there are a whole bunch of recipes for Grain-Free/Paleo granola on the internet). But I made a batch this morning after looking at a few recipes and then coming up with my own. (I’ll post it shortly in a separate post). It was actually fairly easy to make and isn’t as dense as some of the Paleo Granola recipes out there. Yet it was surprisingly quite filling with some berries, sliced banana and coconut milk…so it may become more of a staple in my breakfast (need some variety from eggs and smoothies!)
Anyway – enjoy the rest of the weekend and look out for my granola recipe. I’ll be back at some point with my thoughts on Paleo – after I’ve read a few more books on it!
I recently saw a tweet about having a smoothie for lunch during the hot summer months. Smoothies are usually more of a breakfast or lunch “add-on” for me (I eat a lot) but they can certainly make a meal – or at least a large portion of it if you use the right ingredients. They key to a good smoothie – one that will keep you satisfied for a few hours, is to use a combination of carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein in your concoction. Toppings can then include some more healthy fats in the form of nuts/seeds/nut butters, or some more carbs in the form of granola, cereal or sliced fruit. You could also pair the smoothie with a slice of whole grain or gluten-free toast w/an egg or egg white, some sliced fruit & nut butter or a hard-bolied egg for some added nutrients and satiety.
Here are some tips on making a satisfying smoothie:
1. Choose your base: 1/2 cup almond/soy/dairy/coconut milk + 1/2 cup water (can also do just 1 cup of your milk of choice)
2. Add in your fruit and vegetables. Some possible combinations are:
- 1/2 frozen banana, 1 cup baby spinach (or kale); 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, OR
- 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2-3/4 cup sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen), 1/4 cup fresh blueberries (optional), OR
- 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 pineapple, 1/2 cup spinach
- 1/2-3/4 cup frozen or fresh pitted cherries, 1/4 avocado
- 1/2 cup chopped mango, 1/2 cup chopped pineapple, 1/4 avocado
Tip: Using a frozen banana or avocado makes the smoothie really creamy. The avocado adds healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals too…and the banana is a great source of carbs and potassium!
3. Add in your protein option: 1/2-1 scoop of a protein powder, or 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
4. Add in your healthy fats: 1/4 avocado, or 1 Tbs nut butter, or 5-6 almonds, or 1 Tbs flax or chia seeds
5. Add in a few ice cubes and blend away!
Top with: 1-2 tsp chia or flax seeds, 1/4 cup granola or cereal, or 1 tsp nut butter w/sliced fruit, or 1-2 Tbsp walnuts
Well hello again! My on and off relationship with blogging is currently ‘on’ How have you been? My last post was at the end of March, and now, 3 months later we’re in the middle of summer all ready. Quick update on the “run” situation: I switched my half-ironman that was supposed to have been done on June 15th (my B-Day!!) to 2 other Tris at the end of august (more on those later). BUT – I somehow managed to hurt my shin again (of course…what did I expect??). So, even though I started running a few weeks ago, albeit slowly and with some walking breaks, I’m going back to an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow to get my shin checked out again. It still hurts when I run, and now I have a big bruise from bashing the car door on it. Hoping that the bruise is just from the car door and nothing more serious.
Anyway – what are your plans for the summer? Any fun activities planned? So far, I’ve been down to NYC a few times to visit friends, celebrate my 35th birthday, and go to a Tough Mudder with some friends. The rest of the summer involves classes, a house-warming & BBQ party, a Wine & Painting Night, a Warrior Dash, beach trip(s) and a trip to Atlanta to visit my brother and soon-to-be-born nephew!!!! Plus plenty of pool time & biking of course…
What are your plans for Summer 2013?
As the weather begins to get warmer, my desire to run outside increases. I’m not a winter runner because I hate bundling up in layers of clothing to run outside and so I end up on the treadmill, but that gets old soon. And the treadmill isn’t actually as “cushioned” as we all make it out to be…case in point, I have developed a “stress reaction” in my left shin thanks to the infamous “dreadmill” and bumping up my runs too quickly. So long story short, I’m taking a few weeks (6 – 8?) off running for a while just to let any “possible” stress fracture heal. So where does that leave me? Well, I can still swim, use the elliptical, bike and do pool-running, as well as other non-impact activities like yoga and so I’m not too bummed about it (yet).
But the elliptical and bike sometimes leave me wanting a tougher workout, a way of getting my heart rate up, and so I incorporate some of the exercises I learned at CrossFit into my workouts a few times a week. These are short bursts of intense activities like kettle bell swings, burpees and mountain climbers, and they get your heart rate up in a short amount of time (most of these circuits are only 10-12 minutes long). I posted one circuit at the start of the year and here’s another one that I did today after 40 minutes on the elliptical. Start with 3 rounds and bump up to 4, and remember to warm up beforehand! It’s a great way to get your heart rate up if you’re left wanting more after an elliptical or bike workout.
And then remember to stretch and refuel asap!
I am not a baker. Yet over the last few days I’ve made a batch of Gluten Free Almond Butter cookies form this site (I halved the recipe, used 2 Tbsp of eggbeaters and added 3 Tbsp chocolate chips too), and just now, put a batch of Peanut and Cashew Butter Cookies (recipe follows) in the oven. Who am I??? And why am I making cookies??? Anyway, enjoy!
Peanut and Cashew Butter Cookies (makes 18 small cookies)
1/4 cup natural Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp Cashew Butter
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 Tbsp egg whites (or egg beaters)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Shape into 18 small balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for 8 mins. Allow to cool before removing and eating!
If you’ve heard me complain about having a busy semester in the past – forget I ever said that. THIS semester is going to be insane. After the first 4 days I already felt as if I’d been back at school for a lifetime just from the workload that was thrown at us – and from the anticipation of the workload awaiting us over the next 16 weeks. Between 3 classes, an internship, a part-time job and training I don’t seem to have much time for anything else – such as a social life (What’s that you ask??)
And with the start of the semester another forgotten friend returned – my old pal “stress,” who had disappeared over the holiday season and the month off from school. Well – stress is back and probably here to stay for the next 16 weeks at least, so I guess I’d better start to manage him so he doesn’t get out of control. Stress is probably something that we all experience in varying degrees; some people have more than others, and some people can manage stress better than others (I am not one of them). And yet, I think (hope) that I’ve become better at dealing with stress and managing it so that it doesn’t wreck havoc on my health – both physical and mental.
Back when I was in Art school in Savannah, I remember going to the school counselor because I was so stressed out about my classes and workload that I just couldn’t focus; I couldn’t sleep, was agitated all the time and just felt as if I didn’t have a handle on things. And to this day I remember her advice; how she helped me learn to juggle multiple tasks and manage my time so that I wouldn’t get stressed out. For me, it came down to planning out my week on a schedule and allocating specific time slots for specific tasks. Just writing it out and knowing when I would get various things done was so effective in helping me deal with my busy schedule. For me, stress arose from a fear of not being able to complete all my projects and get through my to-do list – and planning it out was the solution. So that’s exactly what I’ve started to do this semester. I’ve created template schedules for every week and have started to plan out my week in advance, and so far it seems to have helped. I guess I’ve also decided that I’m not “killing” myself over anything – I’m going to live my life one day at a time and enjoy it – because after all, we only get one shot at life.
How do you deal with stress and manage a busy schedule? DO you have any tried-and-tru ways of dealing with stress?