Are you looking for some lunchtime inspiration? Look no further – healthy lunch ideas right here!

Let’s Lunch!

Posted: May 29th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Lunches To Eat Right Now

We’re on a quest to bring back healthy lunches in the household; which means both portable and eat at home options. Here are some of my latest combinations.

  • Can of sardines + avocado + chopped cucumber and tomato; generous squeeze of lemon and fistful of chopped herbs – I like parsley and dill.
  • Soft boiled eggs, sliced tomato, chopped cucumber, a wedge of feta and a few olives.
  • Trader Joe’s Indian frozen meals – try the Korma fish curry (with an extra can of sardines for more protein), the lamb vindaloo, the vegetable biryani, and the palak paneer.

 


8 Healthy Breakfasts

Posted: July 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Breakfast, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

How many days do you wake up and consume only a cup of coffee before heading out to work? We all know that eating breakfast is the right choice – but how often do we just live our lives skipping that oh-so-important meal? If you aren’t in the habit of eating breakfast – start now! Here are eight of my favorite breakfasts – ranging from traditional, to not so traditional.

1. Oatmeal: Cook a pot of steel cut oats at the beginning of the week. Serve yourself 1/2 a cup of cooked oats, with an optional 1/2 cup of milk (or almond milk), a tablespoon of nut butter. When you get into the habit of eating oatmeal, you can have a lot of fun with it. Sometimes I add coconut butter, or dried fruit, or maple syrup, or fresh berries. I’ll stir in a spoonful of nutella for a sweet kick, or go savory and add spinach, garlic and soy sauce.

2. Open faced sandwich – A slice of whole grain toast, topped with a tablespoon of nut butter (peanut, or go peanut free – I like Barney Butter) and a large orange. Or, instead of nut butter, I might top it with hummus, and serve it with carrot sticks or red bell pepper.

3. Whole Grain Pancakes – Make your own pancake mix, or use a healthy (just add water) mix such as Bob’s Red Mill, or Kodiak Cakes flapjack mix. I like these because I can make myself a single pancake, and not have to crack open any eggs. Top with 1/2 cup of fresh berries such as raspberries or blueberries, and a tablespoon of real maple syrup.

4. Eggs – 2 egg omelet with 1/2 cup chunky salsa. If I’m hungry, I’ll add a half cup or so of cooked beans as well. Also tastes delicious with a boatload of spinach.

5. Yogurt cup – 1/2 cup of plain, full fat yogurt. Top with 1/4 cup granola or rolled oats, a tablespoon of jam, and if desired some sweetener such as a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup. Add fresh berries if you have any.

6. Cereal –  If you adore cereal, look for cereals with HIGH FIBER (5 grams per serving or more), and LOW SUGAR. A favorite of mine is Trader Joe’s High Fiber Oh’s. Stick to the serving size, and actually portion out the cereal rather than pouring directly into the bowl.

7. Overnight Oats – The night before, add half a cup of rolled oats (raw), 1/4 cup of yogurt, and 1/4 cup of milk or almond milk. Top with a few dashes of cinnamon, and stir. In the morning, take it out, give it a stir, and eat! Sometimes I pour some real maple syrup or honey on in the morning as well, and top with fruit if I have some.

8. Turkish Breakfast – a small slice (1 ounce or so) of Turkish white cheese (brands such as Valbreso or use feta), a few slices each of cucumber and tomato, a few olives. And a hard boiled egg if desired. Serve with a slice of toast or pita, and honey or jam to drizzle.

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Hiking the Dipsea

Posted: May 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

dipsea.jpg

One of the goals that my study group is holding me accountable to is doing one fun exercise activity each week. This can be something new – a spin class, rock climbing, walking to some crazy new destination, etc. For this week, I chose a local bay area hike – the Dipsea – 679 steps + a 6 or so mile hike out from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. I recruited my friend Sondy, a Bay Area native, and friend from college to lead the way.

The trail is outrageously beautiful, and includes sections through woods, out in the open, around big hills, and up and down them. Not for the totally out of shape hiker, but not particularly challenging for someone in shape.

dipseatrail.jpg

I wore my Vibram Five Fingers, odd looking shoes certainly, but supremely fun to wear. And to meet people with – I must have been asked about them five times by hikers on the trail. Sondy, the amazing woman she is, did about 6 of the 7 miles *actually barefoot*.

As for food on the trip:

Before the hike: Oats in a jar – steel cut oatmeal, in the bottom of an (almost empty) Barney Butter jar with a tablespoon of Nutella. Portable and easy for my commute to Mill Valley. (MUNI and Golden Gate Transit).
During the hike: Dried dates – you know, the little date pieces that look like worms. (About 1/2 a cup, total). Water. A piece of dried mango, offered up by another hiker.
Post hike: Meal at the Sand Dollar – a (small) hamburger with cheese and no bun, fries, a pickle, and lettuce.
hamburger.jpg
After lunch, we wandered around Stinson Beach until the Stagecoach came and picked us up to head back to Mill Valley. When we arrived, we walked the mile and a half back to our car. Yeehaw!

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3 Easy Weeknight Dinners

Posted: May 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Dinner, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

After a few weeks of a lack of moderation, I’ve come back to a healthy focus. That’s what healthy living is about – finding moderation, and course correcting when you’ve been a little bit too loose with yourself. For me this means:

1) 1 hour of exercise at least 5x a week (if not all seven days). Ideally, it would be 350 minutes of exercise per week, and a combination of low, moderate, and high intensity.

2) Planned dinners (and leftovers for lunch) I eat most of my meals at home, but planning my meals ahead of time ensures that I have food on hand for making dinners, and that I make balanced choices ahead of time instead of getting hungry, cranky, tired, and making less than healthy choices.

3) Happiness boosters! I find that when I’m living the healthiest, I’m not just focusing on food and fitness, but about making a point to spend time with friends, doing fun things, and doing new things. It helps fill an emotional hunger and keeps me satiated with my food choices.

Here are some of my dinners over the past few days:

1. Spicy Moroccan Fish Stew from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Mine had cod, shrimp, and rather than couscous, I served it over some bulgur pilaf. I also added in a handful of edamame and frozen corn. This only got better the next day for leftovers – I ate all the fish during dinner, but the shrimp kept quite well the next day, and the flavors really had a chance to mellow. I’ve been having really good success with this cookbook.

2. Carrot Salad with lemon dressing and parsley, Israeli Cous Cous (Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend), and a ground beef saute. For this dinner, I sauteed some onion and frozen bell pepper mix until soft and slightly browned, and then added in the ground beef with some oregano, salt and pepper. This is one of those mish mash meals that didn’t quite go as planned (I was going to make turkish meatballs) but tasted good just the same. The carrots were from my Farm Fresh to You box.

3. Grilled Pork Loin, with Roasted Baby Potatoes, and Spinach Salad with Tomatoes, Grilled Asparagus and Lemon Dressing. After going on a long walk this afternoon, I stopped by Bi-rite market to look at all the BEAUTIFUL produce. I ended up grabbing some spinach, asparagus, and (I-know-they-are-out-of-season-but-I-wanted-them-anyways-tomatoes). This meal was so simple to put together. As soon as I got home I put the potatoes in the oven to roast at 450. I then grilled the asparagus and set them aside. I put together the salad, made the dressing. Then I grilled the pork for about 10 minutes – getting a good sear on both sides, and deglazing the pan with a little white wine. At the end I broiled the potatoes for about 5 minutes while I let the pork rest. Then tossed the asparagus into the salad, dressed it, and served everything up!

A little note on accountability: After struggling for the past few weeks to get things under control, I met with my health coach study group. At the end of our meeting, we each set goals for ourselves for the week, and shared what we wanted to be held accountable for. My goals for the week are – daily exercise, avoiding eating until stuffed, and doing one new and exciting fitness activity.

Today’s Exercise: 10k steps (walking to work + 1.25 hour walk through the castro/mission)

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Monday, a Good Day to Read.

Posted: March 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

This morning I woke up for the second week in a row where I just didn’t feel like going to yoga- at first I chalked it up to daylight savings, but I think I need to just suck it up and go.  I’ve been having a rough time exercising these past few weeks, and for me, lethargy breeds more lethargy.

On my walk to work, I stopped by Holey Bagel to pick up some breakfast. Oatmeal wasn’t going to cut it – I needed Jewish comfort food, and by that I mean a toasted poppyseed bagel with lox spread. There’s not much more Jewish than that – and Holey Bagel does a pretty good job fulfilling my East Coast bagel snobbery requirements.

bagel with cream cheese

Because of my morning funk, I was in a similarly odd mood when I headed to the grocery store (I couldn’t make up my mind at home of what to bring, so I thought that shopping would be a better idea – just to get myself out of the house in the morning.) I opted for a cup of black bean soup, and an organic pink lady apple. The apple was on sale, and I always forget how much I like apples until I bite into the thing around 5 o’clock and it gives me a nice little afternoon boost.

This black bean soup was good, but not great. And I can make a pretty great black bean soup, so it only reaffirms the fact that I should be making a bigger effort to cook my own lunches rather than go for convenience!

black bean soup 

The day was mostly a relaxing one – I kept the door wide open at the store, and people came in in jovial moods, ready to discuss the new Pastry in Europe 2010, my opinions on Lucinda Scala Quinn’s ‘Mad Hungry, Feeding Men and Boys’ (favorable!!), and the highlight – a woman who came in looking for a second copy of Nigella’s ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ after I had just been assuring our neighbor Donna that it would be a nice gift, and she was holding the only copy in her hands. What is it about these coincidences that always happen?

And I finished up reading Tara Austen Weaver’s ‘The Butcher and the Vegetarian’ about her foray into meat eating, and the ethical, gastronomical, and practical questions it raised. (She grew up a vegetarian in West Marin, and didn’t start eating meat until her late twenties under doctor’s recommendation).

One of the underlining take home messages from the book: If I’m going to eat it, I’d like to know how it is raised, what it ate, and where it comes from. I’ll make an informed decision, and not make it lightly. I’d also like to know my farmers, and my butchers, thank you very much.

And with that in mind, I started planning my dinner.

I stopped at home first after work, and after a brief mental struggle, opted to put my butternut squash in the oven to roast. This butternut squash has been sitting on my counter for over a month, the last standing of a farm box that I’ve long since eaten the rest of. Somehow, the squash sat there, lonely, calling out to me, but it wasn’t until the weather turned almost too nice to eat a squash that I decided I might as well do something about it.

And then, in honor of Tara’s book, I decided to head to Drewes’ and see what small piece of meat might call out to me. Being spring time, I opted for a lamb chop. It’s been quite some time since I’ve eaten lamb, and thought that it was fitting, as Nigel Slater happened to eat a mustard lamb chop right around this season in his book ‘The Kitchen Diaries’, his journal of a years worth of dinners. (It’s currently on remainder and out of stock most places, but if you can snag a copy somewhere, I highly recommend it.)

I decided that Nigel’s method of preparation seemed exactly what I wanted to do – mash a few cloves of garlic with some sea salt in a mortar and pestle (I had to take some dried dates and mysterious leaves out of mine… it’s been some time since we’ve been together) and then stir in a tablespoon or so of good grainy mustard, for which I used Maille, the juice of a lemon, and a few glugs of olive oil.

Usually you would rub the chops with the marinade, and let it go for as long as you can wait, or at least an hour, but I was feeling impatient, and opted to stick it into the oven at 425 F, for about 25 minutes.

Right as it was finishing, I ripped up the last of some swiss chard that I had from the last farm box, and put it on a baking pan with a little bit of mystery cheese (manchego perhaps?) to make some chard “chips”. I took the lamb out, and popped the leaves in – letting the lamb rest for about five minutes as the chard got crisp.

lamb chop

Dinner, it turns out, was quite good. Except maybe the squash. I think I’ve gotten used to the sweeter kabocha, and this wasn’t quite as flavorful.

I almost finished on a healthy note, but at the last minute tonight opted for a late night snack – the most recently ubiquitous pita pizza that seems to have invaded our diets this week. Devon made himself one, and I too, couldn’t resist. Mine was pita, slathered with a thin coating of barbecue sauce, and a layer of cheddar, baked for about 10 minutes until everything was crispy.

pita pizza

And now, perhaps some sleep.

I have to wake up tomorrow for my farm box, and to work on my next literary adventure – Gordon Edgar’s ‘Cheesemonger: Life on the Wedge’. He’s the cheese buyer at San Francisco’s Rainbow Grocery, and a man I admire greatly, as he has brought so much pleasure to my life through his cheese selections. The book, which I’m about a quarter of the way through already (I read quickly!) is hysterical.

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