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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

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Afternoon!

This afternoon, as I sat on the couch, preparing to blog, two kittens settled onto me and all bets were off.

I fell asleep.

I slept hard, for two straight hours, and lemme tell you — I needed it.

Lunch was amazingly delicious.

A delicious assortment of fruits and veggies.

On top of a bed of romaine, I added a mix of:

1/4 cup quinoa

1/4 cup golden raisins/craisins

1 cup of peas

6-7 small roasted sweet peppers

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 pear, roasted

1/2 avocado

Mmmm.

The sweet peas, peppers, and pears perfectly pleased my picky palate.

Yep.

I ate all of it, of course.  My sweet tooth was satisfied.

Until my nap, of course.

I love savory/sweet food combinations.

I woke up from my nap with low blood sugar and covered in sweat, most likely due to the two warm furry purr beasts sitting on me.

After chugging a tall glass of cool water, I poked around the kitchen for some simple carbohydrates.

I raided the freezer and scrounged up some cookies left over from last night.

A bit dry, but the taste is fantastic.

I ate two and a half.

I also found a leftover baggie of black, seedless grapes that I had picked up at the store yesterday for my lunch after my doctor’s appointment.

Oh, re: my appointment?  A n0-go.  They can’t help me.  They wanted to refer me to another clinic, and looked visibly relieved when I told them I had another one set for Thursday.  My doc mentioned something about making sure my kidneys are working, which of course, now has me all sorts of new afraid.

I love grapes!

So yeah.

Keeping my brave face on, but I am scared as to why I’ve been so ill for so long.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie? I love chocolate chip.  I see myself eating them for dinner tonight.  No shame.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Afternoon, everyone!

I slept until noon today, and lemme tell you, it made a difference.

I still feel slightly nauseous, but when I hopped out of bed this morning, it’s the closest thing I’ve felt to normal in over a month.

Delicious creamy quinoa, layer of bananas, almond milk, and tons of peanut butter.

I chose the most mild and “safe” thing I could think of for breakfast this morning.

1/3 cup (dry measurement) of quinoa, cooked in 1 cup of water, then stirred in with about 2/3 cup of almond milk, and topped with peanut butter sauce and a whole banana, sliced.

I also added in a teaspoon of vanilla and cinnamon.

There's quinoa underneath there, I promise!

However, as I sit here now, eating it between paragraphs, I can feel my stomach already starting to reject it.

I guess I’m still a bit nauseous and weak, and very tired, even though I think I feel fine.

A couple of you asked about food poisoning, and I think you’re onto something.  I started to feel sick almost immediately after leaving the buffet Saturday night.

Yum!

But here’s the thing: everything that I ate, Amor ate, too.

Except, I had fruit (oh, and potato salad), and he didn’t.

My guess is there was something on the fruit, the potato salad sat out too long, or I’m reacting adversely to an ingredient in something.  I’m pretty sure there was dairy in the custard, but I didn’t think too much into it.  The sudden mood swings I had on Sunday, though, makes me think I might have been reacting either to gluten or casein?

Who knows?

I just want to feel better now, okay, body?  We can be friends again?  Please?

I’m going to try to eat a few more bites of my porridge, but I don’t know if my tummy will let me.

What’s your favorite grain? I love my pseudo-grains: amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Afternoon!

For some reason, I have a food hangover this morning.

I woke up with a headache and starving and in a foul mood.

Blueberries, bananas, coconut milk, peanut butter...delish!

Since it takes nearly twenty minutes for breakfast to go from “in my pantry” to “in my tummy,” I went a little bit crazy with the toppings.

No calories were spared.

It was a massacre.

Mmm, so yummy!

1/3 of a cup of quinoa mixed with vanilla and cinnamon, then added almond milk — 1/3 cup, thereabouts.

I smashed in half of a huge banana, and stirred in an entire cup of blueberries.

When it was ready,  I sliced on another half a banana, an unmeasured amount of full-fat coconut milk (2-3 tbs) and two heaping tablespoons of peanut butter.

Straight up peanut butter, yo.  No time for peanut butter glaze.

I was bloody famished.

Full of healthy fats, and lots of flavor.

Amor saw my breakfast and asked, “Is that coconut milk?”

Yep.  I explained to him how some people put heavy cream on their porridge, and that coconut milk was my attempt at recreating that.  Then I asked, “Want to try it?”

I didn’t expect him to say yes, but was delighted at his open mind.  However, I guess I failed to warn him that I eat quinoa for breakfast, because as soon as the spoon went into his mouth, a funny look crossed his face.  He recovered quickly, though, and rushed to assure me that he thought it was actually very good.

Score for a fella with an open mind!

I’m chugging on some green tea right now, trying to shrug off this food hangover.  It ain’t purdy, guys.  My guess is, I might have overdone it on the sugar last night — craisins on my salad, custard from two pies, and an ice cream cone to boot?

Yeah.

Food hangover.

Does your family/partner eat like you?  If not, do they have an open mind to try your food?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good morning!

I must make this hasty, since I think I may be working this afternoon.

Bananas.

I love ’em.

One of my favorite foods, ever.  And yet…I somehow managed to run out of them while my mum was here, and had to spend almost an entire week banana-less.

I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.

Banana quinoa, banana topping, peanut butter. Simple and delicious.

Since I’m tiptoeing around my kitchen right now, unsure of what I can and cannot eat, I left the eggs out of my breakfast this morning.

To make up for, I increased my quinoa from 1/4 cup to 1/3.

Did you know that 1/3 of a cup of quinoa has 8.5g protein?  Not too shabby, ne?

Yum!

I cooked my quinoa for about fifteen minutes in too much water (still learning my ratios here, sorry!).

I stirred in a teaspoon of cinnamon, vanilla, and slowly thinned it out with about a half a cup or so of sweetened vanilla almond milk.

Yep, I’m still slogging through that Almond Breeze.  I picked up some more Pacific last night, and I’m so eager to tear into it.  Must…wait…be…patient!

Delish!

If you add the almond milk slowly while stirring, it actually does start to thicken, by the way.  My porridge was thick and hearty, not watery, like I worried it might be.

While it was simmering, I added half of a ginormous banana straight into the pot of quinoa, and smashed at it until it was incorporated.

Of course, I found out that Banana Quinoa Enterprises, Inc., had no business license and shut them down immediately.

Sorry.  My sense of humor is askew, it would seem.  Get it?  Incorporated?

Sigh.  Maybe I need more tea before I attempt at the jokes too early on a Saturday morning.

Since I wanted to make sure I had plenty of protein, I added two heaping tablespoons of peanut butter with about two tablespoons of almond milk and made a quick glaze out of it.

I topped the quinoa with the other half of my banana and poured my peanut butter onto it.

Yum!

Do you like your job/what you do for a living? What do you do?  I’m a receptionist in a doctor’s office.  It’s a pretty good job, I think, and I’m happy with it.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good afternoon!

Breakfast did not hold me over, unfortunately, so I did have to snack.

Then lunch brought big hunger with it, which needed remedied with some carbs, protein, and fat — stat!  (Whoo!  I rhyme!)

Explosion of happiness in my mouth.

Lunches like today’s are exactly why I’m a food blogger.

It was so good, I have to tell everyone about it.

It was a simple variation on last night’s dinner because yep, I thought that last night’s dinner was that good, too.

Who needs boring salads with icky dressings anyhow?

I brought 1/4 cup of quinoa to a boil with 3/4 cup of water, which was too much, but it worked out in the end, I promise.

In a separate skillet, I sauteed a stalk of celery with a huge hunk of onion.

When the quinoa was cooked, I dumped in a cup of peas, and my sauteed veggies.

Mmm, so yummy!

Since it was so soggy, I decided that, instead of draining it and losing all those awesome flavors, that I’d dump it all back into the skillet that I had cooked my onion and celery in.

Oh, wow, fantastic idea!  My mistake begat a definite winner.

While the quinoa would have picked up all sorts of wonderful tastes from my cooked veggies, by dumping it back into the pan, the extra water de-glazed the onion and celery residue, thereby infusing the flavor all throughout the quinoa.

Very sweet and juicy, despite not being in season.

I dumped it onto a bed of chopped romaine, then topped it with avocado and 2 tbs of hummus (diluted with water to make a drizzle).

One of my best salads to date, no doubt.

I was craving sweets after lunch, so I foraged up the last orange (rhymes with sporange, by the way, so now next time somebody tells you that nothing rhymes with orange, you can say, “Nuh-uh, it rhymes with sporange, and I’m smarter than you, so there, hah!” because you’re ornery like myself) from my fridge.

Fact: don’t really care for cold fruit.  I tried to let it come to room temperature, but was antsy.  My teeth suffered the chill for my impatience.

I love this peanut butter!

I also snacked on a brown rice cake smeared with my favorite peanut butter, the Kirkland Organic.

Omigosh, I could eat this peanut butter smeared on shoe leather…except I wouldn’t, because…it’s leather, and I’m sorta a veggie, so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

But, if I had to eat shoe leather, this peanut butter would make it palatable.

And chocolate was mandatory.

Love these dark choccy meltaways!

So, I went ahead and made a doctor’s appointment.

I’m excited and anxious — I hope they find out what’s wrong with me, but I’m worried that they won’t actually perform a battery of tests on me like I hope they will.  I’ll be sure to insist on it, though.

The appointment’s not for two weeks, though, which is actually quite reasonable for a sliding-scale open-door clinic with a non-emergency issue.

The only downside?  It’s on my birthday.  I don’t mind, actually.  Birthdays really mean nothing to me, anyway.

Do you like your fruit cold, or do you prefer it eaten at room temperature?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Green, for the lack of a better word, is good.

Hah!  Name that twice-butchered quote!

(Twice butchered because, for some strange reason, people like to omit the appositive.)

How’s everyone’s Saturday going?

I’m really diggin’ mine.

Mmm, best leftovers ever!

Yesterday’s lunch was delicious and satisfying and very filling, but I was unable to finish all of its yumminess.  However, there was too much to throw away —

(– throw away?  Never!  Not on your life! –)

— so I stored it in the fridge today and bulked it up with fresh mango and avocado, more black beans and peas, and for some strange reason, I had a hankering for some sweet pickles, so I threw those in, too.

Dare I say it was even better today?

Same as yesterday, I served it over a bed of chopped romaine.

If you haven’t tried this yet, do give it a go.  It really is that delicious.

I also grated a touch of ginger over the top of it, and enjoyed every single bite.

Very filling and tasty!

I had a bit of a sweet tooth after lunch, but there was no fruit in the house.  Yep, I still haven’t gone grocery shopping yet.

But, being the enterprising little smarty-pants that I am, if the food won’t come to me, I will go to the food.

My back yard, to be more precise.

Want one more gratuitous salad shot? Here ya go!

Long story short, either a squirrel or a bird got ahold of a blackberry and then hopped into my yard and evacuated said blackberry in the corner of my yard by the fence.

Last year, when Amor was cutting grass, he suddenly called out, “Hey, Kaz, check this out!”

Evidently the seeds that were, um, dropped in our yard took hold and started to grow.

They’ve pretty much taken over our back yard, and I reluctantly admit that it’s growing out of control and needs to be pruned back, but not before I eat my share of it!

The fruits of my labor.

Besides, all the brambles and snarls are keeping me away from my delicious fruit.

I spent the better part of a half hour, snapping pictures and apologizing profusely to a spider whose web I accidentally broke while clumsily reaching for a berry, and managed to procure only a small handful of the delicious, tart little berries.

Defeated, I came inside, still wanting a snack.

The only fruit in my house right now are frozen strawberries, a jar of applesauce, and another bit of avocado that I didn’t turn into salad.

Oh my mouth-bliss!

Hey, I’m a clever girl, right?

In my food processor, I whirled together several heaping globs of applesauce (and ate several bites in the process, yum), the last of the avocado, a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder, and peanut butter.

If you google “raw avocado pudding” you’ll probably find several similar recipes, but I rather liked the volume and mild sweetness that the applesauce lent to it.  If you’re wondering, no, you can’t taste avocado or applesauce.  It tastes like chocolate peanut butter fluff.  So tasty!

I poured my pudding over a bed of peanut butter sauce (peanut butter and almond milk, nuked then stirred) and crumbled half of a Nutiva chocolate hempseed bar over it.

Like I said, green…is good.

I’m happily full now, and looking forward to a cozy night in with the Amor.  We rented Fantasia, and there might be some grocery shopping in my near future.

Perfect date night, no?

What’s your favorite “healthy” dessert? Between banana soft serve and this choco-pb-avocado pudding, I’d call it a toss-up.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Afternoon, everyone!

It’s a beautiful day, and I hope to get out there and enjoy it.

Plus, I have tons of mail arriving today, so I’m all kinds of super excited and can’t wait for it to get here.

And, my mum is coming to visit me in a week.

Sounds like everything should be pretty spot-on then, right?

PB & J quinoa porridge...so delish!

For the most part, it is.

But, for some stupid reason, my body is reacting adversely to something I’m eating, and I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is.

This has been frustrating me to tears because, dang it, my diet has already been picked clean and all of my favorite foods have been thrown out.

What else do I have to give up to appease my body?

Frozen cherries pureed with banana made a fantastic "jelly" for my peanut butter bowl.

I’m back to quinoa, mostly because the unexplained inflammation began right about the time I started eating the kasha.

I don’t know for sure, and I seriously doubt it’s the kasha, but the timing is suspect.

I love quinoa, so I don’t mind, but I’ll be pretty displeased if I can’t eat buckwheat, either.

No, no, no. THIS is my new favorite breakfast!

I cooked 1/4 cup of quinoa in a cup of water for fifteen minutes, then added a tablespoon of milled flaxseed, cinnamon, vanilla, and enough almond milk to make it creamy (approximately 1/2 cup-ish?).

In my food processor, I blended a dozen frozen cherries with a perfectly ripe banana.

I had originally intended to make a parfait, much like yesterday, but the quinoa wouldn’t stand for that.  It leapt into the bowl and gave the banana-cherry mash a big hug and I didn’t dare try to deter their affections.

I can't wait to make this again soon. So good!

Instead, I let them mingle, and drizzled the remaining puree onto the quinoa.  I topped it with a huge scoop of peanut butter, and my tastebuds sing.

Note to self: teach tastebuds more songs; “The Hills are Alive” is getting sort of old.

So yeah, my health.

My sister called me this morning and asked me what else I was eating, and mentioned how tomatoes and strawberries tend to trigger reactions in people.  My mum is allergic to strawberries, so it would be very ironic if my huge smoothies, consumed in order to counteract the water retention, are making me sick.

I’ve also started eating mushrooms more, too, which might be something to look into?

Not sure.

Long story short, last night I was retaining an impressive gallon of water.

I know this because I weighed myself before bed and when I woke up this morning — and to be as discreet as possible, I didn’t get much sleep last night.  I was down eight pounds from last night.

I eat salt, but not that much.  I drink plenty of water, but not excessively.  I do get thirsty, but my output doesn’t seem to match my intake.  I limit my caffeine (three cups of green tea in the morning, though for several days I went completely caffeine free and still to no avail), and have tried ginger and other natural remedies.  My pants do not fit (for some odd reason, my waistline is normal, but the rest of me is pretty uncomfortable).  I’m not completely sedentary, either, and I’ve been avoiding grains this past week, thinking it might be the trigger.

Plus, it’s been going on for almost two weeks now, so it’s not exactly a female issue.  (Sorry, gents.)

Wow, look at me ramble on and on!  Hah.

Do you avoid certain foods due to adverse reactions? I know if I just listen to my body, it’ll tell me what to eat, but sometimes it’s difficult when all I want is a cookie or ice cream.  Heh.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good afternoon!

Dude, okay.  United fails at life.

I’m currently channeling all my wrath at United Airlines, because every time I try to book a flight, it’ll go, “Psych!  This flight doesn’t exist!  I had you going there for a minute, didn’t I?”

(No, I can’t spell psych.  Is it sike?  Syke?)

Anyway.  I’ve spent the past four hours trying to book a decent flight, that doesn’t have a 5-minute layover or costs a bajillion dollars or anything, all morning.

I quit.  I’ll try again later.

Mmm, I already want s'more.

At least breakfast was a winner.

Any excuse to crack out the marshmallow fluff is a good one, in my book.

By the way, when I make this fluff again, I’m going to reduce the amount of honey used.  I noticed it reaching an excellent consistency after adding about half of the required honey.  The way it stands, the sweetness is a bit too cloying, if that’s at all possible.

The marshmallow fluff melted nicely. Yum!

Back in the days before I was gluten free, I was totally obsessed with s’mores.

I’d come up with weird and crazy combinations in order to get my melty marshmallow and chocolate fix.

One winner was to slip a Caramello instead of a Hershey’s bar between the graham crackers.  That one was a personal favorite.

I see myself making this again soon.

However, my favorite combination was when I added a generous smear of peanut butter onto each side of the graham cracker before sealing in the melted chocolate and toasty marshmallow.

This breakfast achieves a similar level of awesomeness.

The taste of chocolate peanut butter and creamy marshmallow goo definitely evoked memories of campfires and childhood summers.

I can also see myself making this again, but perhaps with a chocolate porridge base, and chocolate chips with regular peanut butter.

And of course, fluff.

Do you like s’mores? Oddly enough, I know several people who hate marshmallows, for some reason or another.  I avoid them (for the most part) due to the gelatin, but they’re probably one of my favorite sweets.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Afternoon, everyone!

Wow, I feel like a bit of a dolt.  I was so caught up in everything I was doing this morning that I had somehow forgotten to upload my breakfast.

Is that spacey or what?

Never fear, for my eats are here.

Same breakfast as yesterday, but just as good today.

I’m sorry for the quality of my pictures today.

For some reason, amorphous blobs of blue and brown don’t photograph very well.

How strange.

Delish!

Forgive me for eating the exact same thing as yesterday.  I’m real inventive, aren’t I?

I suppose I fried all my braincells on too many cookies yesterday?

Actually, I’m just trying to finish up that tub of blueberry yogurt, since it doesn’t have a resealable lid.

My porridge today had a secret weapon, however.

That weapon?  One of Em’s organic, fair trade bananas.

Yum. Can't get enough!

Okay, I know it sounds silly.

I know some of you will say, “Pish-posh!  A banana is a banana!  How can an organic, fair-trade banana taste better than a conventional one?”

It just does.  At least, this one did.

Or maybe because it was delivered to me with love that made it taste better.

So there.

Thanks for all the kind words on my cookie recipe yesterday, by the way. I sincerely appreciate it; I really, really do. ❤

And thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz