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Good morning!

How is everyone?

School is insane.  Working and going to school at the same time?  Even more insane.  I’m a full time student, like I mentioned before, but I never knew it would be this crazy.  Every professor treats us like his class is the only class, and doesn’t hesitate to assign us 50+ pages of reading each night, plus homework atop of all of it.

Then there’s work, which is great, but exhausting.  I’m up way earlier than I ever thought I would be (around sevenish) and not making it to bed until almost midnight, or later, these days.  I don’t get home until 8 or later on worknights, and 7 pm on school nights, and that’s only with the mercy of Em taking me home after her last class.  If I waited for Amor to pick me up, I’d be getting home around 8-ish, as well.

In other words, I’m “working” twelve-plus hours a day (Fridays have me running around from 5 am until around 8 pm, so that’s a 15 hour  work day), every day, except Thursdays (the only time I can schedule doctors’ appointments, so they’re already spoken for) and Sundays, and my boss has already told me he plans for me to start working Sundays so I can start organizing the office.

Can you tell I’m a bit overwhelmed right now?

And I don’t even know when I’ll find time to study.  That’s not even accounted into my epic work days.  Yikes.

It’s not all bad, though.  My classes are promising, though don’t get me started on the arrogance and hypocrisy of my Environmental Ethics class.  However, the content seems interesting.  If only that racist woman in the back would shut up, and the smelly tattooed guy in the front would stop calling us parasites, I’d be fine.

Work is great, actually.  Like I’ve said before, I get along fairly well with my boss, and the workload, while constant and steady, is essentially routine and easy.  No complaints.  Plus, a bit extra pocket change never hurt anyone, ne?

Porridge makes those early wake-ups easier.

The only major issue I’m having right now, then, is my eats.

First, I tried a lighter breakfast, then planned on having a snack after my first class.  Hah!  My body let me know right away that was not acceptable.  (I’m a chronic bottomless pit, by the way — 2 whole grain rice cakes, 2-3 heaping tbs of peanut butter, and a large banana barely kept my tummy quiet for three hours.)  To keep it from overtalking my professor, I was stealthily stuffing my lunch into my mouth every time he turned away.

Then, I tried a heavier breakfast, and forced myself to eat every last bite to make sure I’d stay full.  Nope.  Was starving again mid-class.  Fortunately, I had planned ahead and packed almonds and raisins, and that definitely helped, but clearly my body is rebelling against this new eating schedule.

Breakfast, as messy as it is, always remains so photogenic, don't you agree?

Since my tummy clearly can’t distinguish between a lighter meal and a heavier meal, I’m going to go back to the lighter breakfast, and pack more snacks to eat in class.

Last night, at the grocery store, I picked up a few dried pineapple rings (doused in chili powder — omg, good!) and some dried mango, and I have tons of almonds (Amor picked up a huge tub at Costco, thinking his fantasy football buddies would eat them all, and no surprise, they didn’t) and tons of ziploc baggies to cram my dried fruit and nuts into.

Lunch has been boring and, sadly, not filling.  I think part of the problem is that I’m having to wait until around 4:30 to eat it, when I’ve been up since seven or eight that morning already and I’m running on breakfast and a handful of nuts and grapes until that point.  Eight hours without a real meal?  Oi, that’s a no-go if there every was one.

So, I’m half-starved, and at that point, my satiety signals are completely broken, and I’m ready to eat my entire arm.  Le sigh.

Melty, drippy almond butter with almond slices. Creamy crunchy good!

My other option is to make my breakfast extra fatty and protein-y.  I’ve been googling the dangers of eating more than one egg a day (me, the eternal paranoid) and can’t find any hard evidence that it’s not safe, so I may try it.  Plus, it’s only three days a week, so that still comes out to six eggs a week.

Anyone have any egg breakfast recipes they want to share?

My wonderful Em bought me some almond meal at TJ’s when she was out of town last week, too.  Do you have an almond meal recipe you’d be willing to share with me?

Ate all of it, then went back for another tablespoon of almond butter. Yummage!

Breakfast was a simple ordeal.  I got smart earlier this week and made a huge pot of quinoa.  All I have to do for breakfast now, then, is reconstitute it.

Basically, I dump a heaping cup of my cooked quinoa into a pot, add enough water to make it creamy, add cinnamon and vanilla, cook, add an egg, add almond milk, cook some more, and top it with whatever I so fancy.  Today, it was a banana and a cup of frozen blueberries, thawed, and two tbs of almond butter as well as a huge fistful of sliced almonds.

Next week, I’m going to cook a huge pot of kasha.  It seriously simplifies things.  Don’t know why I didn’t try it sooner, really.

What do you eat when you know you have to stay full for several hours?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good afternoon!

I feel remarkably okay today, which is like, big.  I haven’t felt okay in ages.

I was so convinced that I would be in a bad mood today because of the stomach pain I had last night, but somehow I managed to wake up on the right side of the bed.

Sleeping for almost ten and a half hours last night didn’t hurt, either.  Yes, despite my two hour nap yesterday, as soon as my head hit the pillow last night, I was out.

Amor woke me up at noon, and I’ve been sipping my tea and feeling reasonably decent all morning.

All the warm and kind words from you guys probably didn’t hurt, either!  Thank you, each and every one of you, for your input on my “Thoughts” post.  I went ahead and replied to all of you directly on your comment, since each and every one of you had something to offer that I am completely grateful for.

A huge bowl of slivered almonds? What?

It’s slowly started to dawn on me that I’m getting much better at this “intuitive eating” business.

It’s still a journey, and I still have trouble stopping myself at night and listening to my tummy signals (as my bedtime tummy ache last night is a strong indicator), but my daytime eating?

Not too shabby.

For instance, this morning, I was craving both blueberries and bananas.  I had a strong hanerkin’ for the blues, but the bananas didn’t look too terribly unappealing, either.

Ah, I see. A bowl of almonds and some berry compote?

I went ahead and made it another two-banana morning, and threw in a cup and a half or so of frozen blueberries for good measure.

I tossed an entire banana in with my kasha, since I was out of almond milk.  I seasoned it with some vanilla and cinnamon, as well.

For my blueberry craving, I nuked something like a cup and a half or two cups (didn’t measure) of blueberries in bowl with another banana, then nuked it for two minutes.

Nope, there's porridge underneath all that! Sneaky sneaky!

I mashed it into a delicious sweet-tart compote, then dumped it onto my banana kasha.

I topped it with about a quarter cup-ish of slivered almonds.

Then I ate all the compote and almonds, and ate about 3/4 of my kasha and called it quits.

In other words, I eat like a child: I pick off the yummy stuff, then let the rest go to waste.  Who cares if it’s “healthy” or “I need it”, which was my old go-to excuse for finishing off my breakfast.  Oh, it’s full of protein!  I need every last bite!

Nope.  Don’t wanna.

I think that learning to throw away food is the biggest step somebody can take in learning how to eat intuitively.  Yes, I might get hungry soon, even though I just ate two hours ago.  No big deal.  I can just forage up something else yummy, and eat it until I run out of ketchup or grow bored of it, then throw the rest away.

It’s okay to throw food away.  Really!  And if that’s not cool with you?  Then cover it, put it in the fridge, and eat it later.  Leftovers are yummy, too.

Being sick, actually, has helped teach me that.  I couldn’t finish anything this past week due to awful stomach pains, and since I was sick, nobody else wanted to finish it, so into the rubbish it went.

See?  I’m the eternal optimist.  I can even find the good in food poisoning.  Hah!

Anyway, I’m rambling, which is oddly enough, a good sign.  I babble like a baby when I’m happy, so here’s to me being back to my old self soon!

Are you an intuitive eater?  Has intuitive eating ever been a struggle for you?  Do you have any insight or tips to help others who are learning how to eat? Sorry, so many questions for you today!

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Evening!

Still sick, but not as bad as I was yesterday.

For some reason, I was still hungry after lunch, but the moment I ate some fruit, not only did my hunger go away, but the nausea set in.

I didn’t get hungry again until almost 9:30 tonight.

Appetite-smashing pear.

Fruit sounded good to me.

Funny thing is, the thought of veggies was making me gag, whereas at lunch, the thought of fruit made me want to gag.

I nuked a huge peach for two minutes to cook it.

Bowl o' fruity deliciousness.

Topped it with frozen cherries, nuked another minute.

Nuked again at half power, another minute.

Topped with fresh blueberries.

Everything I wanted for dinner, right here.

Nuked again for another minute, then another on half.

By then, it was simmering in its own juices.

I added a half a banana, chopped, and tossed it all together.

Mmm, so yummy!

Poured almond milk on it, topped it with almonds.

Ate two bites, stomach clenched.

Every time the pain would subside, I took another bite.  I made about 90% through the bowl, but I feel so icky in my tummy right now that I don’t think I should push it.

I’m supposed to work tomorrow, too, by the way.  So, if I’m away all day, that’s why.

No, calling in sick isn’t an option.  One of the girls is spending quality time with her children and asked for this time off weeks in advance, and the other is the girl I covered for on Saturday because she was sick.

Do you follow any sports?  What kind?  Which team do you root for? Totally random, I know, but Amor is playing Madden and keeps calling my attention to his slow-mo replays.  He’s very passionate about his football, and it’s starting to rub off on me.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good morning!

So, I’m still on the fence about amaranth.  Evidently, my indecision has caused me to develop a lisp and break out the weak puns, so bear with me here as I mull this one over.

In researching my symptoms, I found quite a few websites telling me that my tummy issues (yes, it’s not just edema) could be related to one of three things: 1) gluten intolerance 2) dairy intolerance 3) egg or some other hidden allergy.

Since I don’t eat gluten or dairy, I’m wondering if since I’ve started eating whole eggs (instead of just the whites), if that’s making me sick?  Another possibility is fructose malabsorption, since my cold hunger after eating fruit is related to it, and I do get ill after eating breakfast, which always features fruit.

Yep, I’m definitely calling the doctor today.

Amaranth, frozen blueberries, almonds, and coconut milk.

I woke up with no hunger this morning, so I decided to go with amaranth for breakfast, since it takes about a half hour to cook on the stovetop.

However, within minutes, hunger hit me like a ton of bricks, so I broke off a piece of a Cashew Almond Boomi Bar and snacked on it.  No picture, sorry.

Since I’m going eggless for the day, I decided to increase my typical 1/4 cup of cereal to 1/3 of a cup.  I won’t lie; it made me anxious to eat so many carbs without any protein to balance it out.

But, I’m strong, and I forged onward.

Since my Dollar Tree bowl was so popular yesterday, I brought him back today.

I learned a trick to fluffing up the amaranth, by the way.

I used 1 1/3 cup of water to my 1/3 cup of amaranth.  After I cooked it for a half hour, it still looked like it was sitting in a ton of water.

However, after I stirred it, it became homogeneous.  At that point, I added about 1/2 cup of almond milk to it, and it absorbed it actually rather well.

Yay, an extra half-cup of food!

Hey, food excites me.  We all have our quirks.  This is mine.

No added sugar needed; the toppings sweetened it up nicely.

I don’t know if anyone else out there has tried amaranth, but if you have, did you notice that it gets little tails on it, not unlike quinoa?

Nifty, right?

It also pops.

Oh, both literally, and figuratively, actually.  Did you know you can pop amaranth like you can popcorn?

Also, when you eat it, you can bite into the little grains (seeds, actually) and they sort of *pop* in your mouth.  Fun!

I love this flavor combination! Coconut milk is so creamy.

The other thing I noticed about amaranth is that its taste vaguely resembles dirt.

Mmm, dirt.

I don’t eat beets for that same reason.

Or dirt.  I don’t eat dirt for that reason, either.  Tastes too much like dirt for my liking.

I wonder if anyone has ever eaten dirt, spat it out, and thought, “Ptew!  Tastes like beets, yuch!”

Simple, but satisfying.

To top off my amaranth, I poured a bunch of blueberries into a 6-oz ramekin, and threw them in the microwave for 1:45 minutes.

When they were squishy and simmering in juice, I poured them onto my porridge.  I then drizzled them with a tablespoon of full-fat coconut milk, added about 1/4 cup or so of almonds (a couple fistfuls), then drizzled another tablespoon of coconut milk onto it.

I loved how the blueberry juice sort of mingled with the coconut milk like a flirt at a cocktail party.

So, the verdict is still out.  I still have a serving or two of amaranth left, which will give me plenty of time to decide, I’m sure.

Amaranth: tried it? Love it or hate it?  What’s your favorite breakfast cereal, hot or cold?

Off to call the doctor now and set up that appointment.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good afternoon!

Sorry for being off to a late start today, but I sorta-kinda slept in this morning, with emphasis on the sorta-kinda.

My nap held me over well past midnight, but as soon as I hit the sheets, I was out like a light.

That is, until the phone calls started.

First, at 3 a.m., when United thoughtfully called to remind me that my Mum’s 6 a.m. flight was going to be on schedule, as planned.

Then, between 6:45 a.m. and 11 a.m., I was awoken no less than four times to 1) be asked when Mum gets in 2) be told that Mum got in 3) Mum calling me to let me know she got in, and 4) a thank you for a gift I left for my brother for all the help he gave to make this trip a success.  (Thanks, bro!  Could not have done this without you! <3)

I was surprised to see the clock on my cell phone reading only an hour until noon at the last call, so I chose that to be my notice to get out of bed.

Plus, I was having dreams about that skeevy dude, Enzo, from Big Brother, and that he was trying to ask me out on a date.  Shudder!  Maybe I should lay off on the trashy TV for awhile?

Delicious green smoothie!

After my restless night, I woke up thirsty and craving the greens.

Into my blender, I added several fistfuls of soggy spinach that needs used up, like, yesterday.  I added a quarter of a cantaloupe, half a banana, and the juice of one of those amazing lemons that Em gave me.

I’ve said it once and I’ll repeat it for emphasis: add lemon juice to your smoothies!  You don’t taste lemon, but it makes all the yummy flavors stand out more.  I don’t know what I’ll do when I run out of these lemons; they’re seriously the best I’ve ever tasted.

A few cubes of ice added texture and the necessary chill to make these smoothies palatable, and it was totally delicious.

Blueberry almond kasha. Easy, fast, simple, delicious.

While I blended away, the stove did all the work on a pot of kasha that I had simmering.

Because I was in a rush and didn’t want to dirty another dish, I cracked an egg directly into the groats.

It turned out fine, actually, and saved me one whole minute (insert exaggerated gasp here) in breakfast preparation.

Hey, a minute is a long time when you’re hungry, you know.  Seriously, I might’ve fainted dead away from hunger had I not shaved that one minute off.

So yummy!

Since I already had over a serving of fruit in my smoothie, I decided to keep my toppings simple and stuck with a combination that I know I love and that I know works.

The last of my blueberries (lamentation!) topped my creamy, delicious groats, and I added a hearty handful of almonds to the mix to add an extra burst of fat to help hold me over.

Hold me over for what?  Lunch is in a half hour, for crying out loud!  Oh, the perils of sleeping in late.

Mmm, so good!

Don’t worry, I am actively trying to practice intuitive eating.

I don’t doubt that this breakfast will keep me full until at least four or so, unless I jinx myself by thinking that it will sustain me for nearly five hours.

Speaking of intuitive eating, it gets scary sometimes.  I don’t know if anybody else out there has struggled with learning how to eat normally, but when your stomach growls every fifteen minutes at night after giving it snack after snack after snack (right after dinner, no less), it tends to make a girl antsy.

I think I knocked out all the food groups this morning -- fruit, vegetable, fat, protein, carbohydrate. Yay!

I wound up eating, oh my gosh, I have no idea.

A brown rice cake with peanut flour, a pear, a half a Larabar…

Okay, either I forgot half of what I ate last night, or I’m seriously over-reacting to my hunger, especially since I was up until nearly 2 am last night and had eaten my dinner around eight-ish last night.

See?  Just getting it out there into writing makes it all the more clear to me.  I’m starting to think that I might have a fast metabolism or something. (Knock on wood!)

Something else of interest to me?  Check out my breakfast.

Just a note: these are all estimates, since I didn’t weigh or actually measure anything, so there could be a margin of error of some sort.

And, if things like calories or anything make you anxious, please view this at your own discretion.  My breakfast is maybe 1/4 of the calories I eat on a daily basis, but since I don’t count, I have no idea.  (Generally, I like filling meals, and I snack frequently and enjoy dessert after dinner.)

Not bad, hey?

Not bad, am I right?

Check out how much iron I managed to sneak in, first thing in the morning.

I heard somewhere that to absorb iron from plants (like spinach), you need to combine it with Vitamin C.  I wasn’t actively thinking of that when I added lemon juice and cantaloupe to my smoothie, but it looks like it worked out rather nicely.

My protein is solid, and I got tons of potassium, calcium, Vitamin A, fiber, fat, magnesium, magnesium, and et al.

Not bad for a gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free vegetarian, ne?

What did you eat for breakfast today? Feel free to include links, if you wish!

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Afternoon!

Morning?  Can I pretend for another few minutes that the noon hour has not yet passed?

And, by the way, doesn’t “curdled custard” sound like “Colonel Mustard”?

All right, folks, we have a mystery on our hands here, and let’s see if we can’t solve it.

Blueberries and almonds = best flavor combo ever!

Crime: Being Unaesthetic

Where: In my bowl

Who: Curdled Custard

Weapon: Lumpiness

So, my breakfast was Being Unaesthetic by Curdled Custard no other than In My Bowl with Lumpiness.

And a touch of blackstrap molasses for extra smokiness.

Right.

Ne’er fear, it’s nothing that Detective Toasted Almonds and Fresh Ripe Blueberries can’t solve!

With the aid of their trusty sidekick, Blackstrap Molasses, they’ll solve this riddle and fix this fiasco right proper.

Despite his ugly exterior, Mr. Breakfast had a sweet and gentle side.

Whew, ugly breakfasts really do bring out the random in me, don’t they?

Hey, it’s my best strategy: divert and dazzle!

In short, when trying to cook custard without having any sugar in the house, don’t use the burner on the stove that gets too hot, certainly don’t make this attempt when you have groats that need attention on the other burner, and by no means, never attempt it while hungry.

The creaminess of the (hideous) custard meshed well with the crunch of the almonds.

A last-ditch effort to salvage it with extra cornstarch and applesauce and another half cup of almond milk created this unappealing blob that graced my breakfast bowl.

It wasn’t very sweet, and I wasn’t paying attention so it did curdle and lump, but a drizzle of blackstrap on the top of it did redeem the flavor.

Even better, each 1/3 cup serving provided me with approximately 4 grams of protein, so I know that with a bit more effort, I can fix this and make something healthful and delicious for myself in the near future.

All in all, a very satisfying meal.

Oh, by the way, thanks for all of your amusing tales of ruthless thievery on last night’s post.

I loved waking up and reading them, and some of them made me laugh out loud.  It’s nice to know that I’m not the only person out there who steals food from roomies, filches their fella’s shirts, baked things for others and only to eat it by myself, or took her sister’s make-up when she wasn’t looking — you know who are you are!  Funny thing is, I’ve done all of those things, and probably countless others that I can’t recall offhand.

We’re a shameless lot, aren’t we?  Hah.

On another note, I may not be able to post this afternoon, but I’ll try to get a quick note up about my lunch.  I need to get my house spotless for my mum’s visit tomorrow, and I’ve barely made a dent in the mess.  (We use our guest room as a storage room, and I’m telling you, it’s not easy to relocate boxes and boxes of paperwork, clothes, and other strange things that are accumulating dust.)

Do you have any tips or advice for streamlining the cleaning process? I have a long day ahead of me, and any way to make it go by quicker would be most appreciated!

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good morning, everyone!

Yes, I’m going to pretend that it’s still morning.  I love to pretend.  Want to play along?

Rock on.

Last night, when Amor and I were at the grocery store, we were walking through the dairy aisle when he turned to me and asked, ever-so innocently, “Have you ever heard of Greek yogurt?”

No Greek yogurt for me, alas, but this more than made up for it.

Um…have I ever heard of Greek yogurt?  Was he kidding?

For the next five minutes, I extolled the virtues of all things Greek yogurt, and how if you flip your spoon over, it’ll stick, and how it’s thick and creamy just like sour cream.

My eyes got that glazed, starry look to them as I spoke.  I had only ever had Greek yogurt once, and loved it.

However, dairy makes me extremely sick, and as a parting gift, breaks my face out like ugh.

Raspberry and lime curd are perhaps the best flavor combination EVER.

“Oh,” replied Amor. “I think I’ll try it.”

What?

No.  Oh no he di’nt.

Yes, guys.  Last night, Amor brought Greek yogurt into the house, and I can’t have any.

There are rules to a happy relationship, and bringing in a foodie’s dream and eating it in front of her definitely violates those rules.

If you like tart, sour things, then this is for you.

Of course, I jest.

Amor knows that I can’t eat dairy, and he didn’t mock, taunt, or tease me while eating it.

Of course, he loved it.  He must, because he bought three tubs of it.

Three tubs of Greek yogurt…in my house.  And I can’t have any.

For the record, yes, I did sniff the tub of yogurt, and I did drool.

Copiously.

And no, he doesn’t judge me for my weird quirks.  He’s just wonderful like that. ❤

Osito! That's lime curd! What are you doing, silly cat?

Remember the other day, when I wondered what Oso had gotten into on the counter?

And I postulated that it must have been the avocado, and jokingly called him a sourpuss?

Nope.  I was wrong.

I relaxed for one second, and before I knew it, he was up on my chair, trying to lap as much lime curd as he could before I shooed him away.

This was my basic grits recipe, by the way.  I bought whole-grain corn meal last night, and while the taste is slightly different, it was still very yummy.

And the corn/lime/raspberry combination?

Oh dear.  You must try this.  You will not regret it.

Quick, Easy Lime Curd:

1 whole egg

2/3 cup non-dairy milk

1 tbs cornstarch

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbs honey

2 tbs lime juice (or the juice of one lime)

1 tbs coconut butter (optional, but awesome)

Whisk all ingredients except lime juice and coconut butter in a bowl.  Add to a small sauce pan, and stir constantly over low heat until thickened.  Add lime juice and coconut butter, and stir until smooth.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good morning, guys!

Or, err…um.  Afternoon!

Right.  Let’s just overlook that and move on to the food, howzabout it?

Evidently I was blogstipated this morning.

And, a quick google search shows that somebody else has coined that term, but pooh all over them (no pun intended).

I was worried about the lighting this morning, but whoa! Lookit how blue my berries are!

Blogstipation is my Amor’s word.  In brief, it means being — ahem — “backed up” on your blogging.

When I logged on this morning, it appeared as though my Google Reader had asploded.

And, since I seriously love reading and commenting on everyone else’s blog, I could not post until I knew what everyone was up to.  I had to know.  Just had to.

Do you blog first, read later, or read blogs first, then post?

Look at all the maple-almond shrapnel bits!

I woke up feeling better than I had in a long while, and decided to go back to an old favorite and introduce it to a new friend.

I whipped up my banana quinoa porridge base, then made a maple-almond brickle to top my porridge.

Well, the brickle was a fluke, but a good one, I assure you.  I had meant to caramelize them, but I ignored them for too long, and they solidified.

I tried something new today, instead of my usual almond milk.

Nevertheless, it was a tasty mistake, and one I’ll happily make again.

And my new friend?

Coconut Milk Kefir.

Since I can’t eat yogurt due to my issues with dairy (and soy), and I refuse to pay two dollars for a tiny tub of non-dairy yogurt, I’ve had to do without forever.  So, when I spotted this coconut milk kefir at the Co-op yesterday, I knew I’d love it poured over my porridge.

Yes, it’s pricey, but compared to the cost of vegan yogurts out there, this bottle will last me over a week and totally worth the investment.

Oh, my, but this stuff is so good! Yum!

I read a blurb on another blog today about people who tend to “slip up” while eating healthy, then essentially say, “Screw it!” and binge on junk food for the rest of the week.

Back when I was a binge eater, that was me.  If I wasn’t 100% perfect all.the.dang.time, I threw my hands up into the air, bid adieu to healthy eating, and would dive head first into a week-long binge fest.

I honestly think I’ve changed.  Yes, I’ve had my treats this week, but never once did I think, “Well, shucks.  I’ve already slipped up and binged.  Might as well go to town on this pint of ice cream, block of chocolate, and Costo-sized bag of chips.”

Most of the time, I don’t actually crave processed food.  I actually prefer fresh, whole foods, prepared by myself.  I’ve enjoyed my servings of sweets and chips this week, but always had time for fresh fruits (tons of fruit!  Nature’s candy, FTW!)  and vegetables.  I can’t imagine a week-long McDonald’s bender; my stomach would never forgive me, for starts, but I truly no longer desire it.

Have you always been a healthy eater?  Do you find yourself preferring “real” food more, or is it still a struggle to resist foods that offer little nutritional value? For the most part, it’s an off-again, on-again struggle with my cravings.  However, “allowing” myself permission to eat whatever I want has played a major role in helping me conquer my binge eating urges.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Greetings this afternoon, ya’ll!

Fact: I was born and raised in the South and have never once uttered the word “ya’ll” in context.  Southern fail.

Whew!  I am so tired this afternoon.

Why’s that?

You got me beat.  I think my body got a sample of what decent sleep looks like last night, and now it’s craving more.

Or, maybe it’s because I’ve been working my little hamster off.

When I saw these at the grocery store last night, I knew I'd have to integrate them into my lunch today.

Pray tell, where exactly on the human body is the hamster?

No idea.  But, mine was worked off, so you won’t find one here.

I’m proud to say that there are only two rooms left in this house that aren’t fit for another human being to see.  And, no, I don’t count the garage.

Southern food at its finest.

The garage will never be cleaned, period.

I still need to sweep the entire house, and my bathroom needs some touch-up work, and the kitchen is never truly clean, but if somebody spontaneously dropped by, I wouldn’t be mortified to let them in.

Maybe.

The age old classic Red Beans n' Rice, but with a quinoa twist!

Enough about my house.  I’ve been quite productive today, for which I am very pleased, albeit worn out.

I waited too long to eat lunch, and by the time I actually wandered into the kitchen, I was near-about ready to eat my arm.

However,  I have no tried and true recipes for human arm, so I instead elected to go with my gut.

Perfectly roasted broccoli trees, to be later dipped in ketchup and mustard.

No, no, no.  I didn’t eat my gut, though I was pretty sure at this point it was trying to eat itself.  I went with my gut, which was telling me that I was craving beans like nobody’s business.

Except, maybe, it’s my business.  And since you’re reading this, it’s your business, too.

So, I was craving beans like it was everybody’s business.  There? Satisfied?

The veggies are a match made in heaven. I love "dipper" vegetables.

Like a true Southern gal, I wanted red beans and rice, but since I already had rice for breakfast, I decided to branch out and try my beans on quinoa.

Clever, right?  I know.

I cooked up a serving of quinoa while a heaping pile of broccoli and brussels sprouts roasted in my 400 F (convection) oven.

All in all, a delightful feast to satisfy a hungry tummy.

Yes, I cooked them for thirteen minutes.

Do I really need to go there again?  Thirteen is a wonderful number.  No superstition allowed here on this blog.

Knock on wood.

I cooked a huge hunk of green bell pepper with one cup of beans (rinsed), and when the quinoa and veggies were ready, I plated them and piled the beans onto the quinoa.

First I wanted a peach. Then I wanted grapes. Then I spotted this pear and knew what I really craved.

I topped the red beans with a half a medium chopped tomato and dug in.

Perfect!  So good.

However, I had waited too long to eat, and I was so daggum tired, that dessert was imperative.

The pear was perfectly ripe and juicy, but still I was craving more sugar.

Almond Dream, Coconut Sorbet, and two pieces of chocolate. Hit the spot!

And, looking back, my lunch was abysmally low in fat.

Yes, dessert was a must.

I piled a ramekin high with my favorite Coconut Sorbet and a scoop of Cappuccino Swirl Almond Dream (also very good!) and topped it off with two pieces of Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Almond.

Now I’m happily sated, but I’m thinking hard about a nap.

What’s your favorite traditional or regional food? Being from the south, I love just about anything that involves beans and cornbread.  Yum!

Thanks for reading, each and every one of you!  (By the way, I hit a new record on page views — if you’re out there, please please please feel free to say hello!  You’ll delight me like nothing else!)

❤ Kaz

Good morning!

Er…afternoon?

I almost got a good night’s sleep last night.  Almost.  I slept hard for the first half of the night, and vaguely recall a mental “Yay!” when I awoke the first time and the first hint of dawn was peeking through the curtains…but after that?  Not so much.  After that first wake-up, I had perhaps another five or six wake-ups after that.

Hey, at least I wasn’t up all night peeing.  Too much salt before bedtime does that to you, I suppose.

Me: 1

Bladder: 5 bajillion

That’s right, I’m evening out the odds.  I’m getting there.  Slow and steady and all that, it wins the race.

Quinoa porridge is arguably the best breakfast EVER.

I want to apologize for the rubbish photographs today.  While it’s another beautiful morning, full of sunshine and cool breezes, evidently none of that daylight could drag itself off its lazy bum and come in through my window and grace my breakfast with its glory.

Greedy sun.

I used my typical quinoa porridge base, but left out the fruit.  Instead,  I elected to pile the fruit on top of the porridge.

Yikes, bad lighting. Nevermind, it still tasted amazing.

Bold choice, right?

Good choice.

The blueberries sort of melted into the almond milk, and before long, the almond milk had taken on a murky, dishwater grey hue (or, for the optimists out there, it was a lovely slate blue, like the color of the sky over the ocean on a stormy day).  Nevertheless, it became this delicious blueberry-honey flavored milk, and you bet I slurped up every last sip.

The coconut added an extra hint of sweetness. So good!

I caramelized my almonds like I had done before, and with the natural sweetness of the blueberries, bananas, and coconut, each bite was a bit of euphoria in my mouth.

Who needs candy when this is on the menu?

In this topping mix, I used:

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1 very small banana

3 heaping tbs sliced almonds

2 tsp honey (to coat almonds)

1 tbs sweetened coconut

1/2 cup almond milk (give or take)

Definitely try this combo!

Last weekend, I awoke to gloom and overcast skies.

Today, sunshine!

That means only one thing: it’s time to mow the lawn.

Wish me luck.  It’s seriously a jungle out there.  I wish I could snap a picture to show you, but, you guessed it, the camera’s battery is exhausted.

This time, it’s entirely my fault.

Yikes.

One of my favorite breakfasts, for sure!

Okay!  Headed out into the jungle.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz