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Happy Thanksgiving!

The Fur Children

The Fur Children

For my readers in the US—Happy Thanksgiving! I was supposed to run in a 5K race (hah!) with my mom and sister today, but, um, I am a weather wuss and opted instead for some non-competitive inside time on the elliptical machine.

I’m spending the holiday with my family and the fur-children. The other day I took a weird trip down memory lane and read my Thanksgiving posts from years past. It’s crazy how much changes in 5 years, but basically, the main takeaway for me is that puppies > boyfriends.

If you’re celebrating, how are you spending your Thanksgiving? Any favorite—or memorably awful—Thanksgivings past? 

5 Ways to Maintain Your Weight This Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingStressing about the number on the scale this week? Fear not! I have a post up on the Rise blog about how to maintain your weight over Thanksgiving.

What are some of your favorite healthy holiday habits?

That’s a lot of alliteration, huh?

 

What I Ate Wednesday #190

Another week, another What I Ate Wednesday. For all my peeps in the US—can you believe it’s already Thanksgiving mweek? You are probably sick of hearing people saying this, but wow. Time is going too f-ing fast.

Here’s what I ate Monday as I was looking ahead to holiday travel with an eye toward cleaning out the fridge. It was technically a day off, but I had so much writing I needed to get squared away, it was more of a work-from-home day with a side of laundry and yoga.

Breakfast: Cranberry Pumpkin Oats in a Jar—best way ever to use up an almost-empty jar of PB. PB oats

Lunch was at Souen in Union Square. I didn’t take any photos because my dining companion did not know I have a blog, and nothing says Hello How Are You like “I’m going to interrupt the flow and take a picture of my food now.” Anyway, I ordered the Squash Tofu, if only for the miso-tahini sauce. It was delicious. I forget sometimes that I  love tofu, especially when it comes with perfectly steamed veggies in a bath of miso tahini soup sauce.

Then it was back to the writing cave. I took a break for a snack around 4:30. I enjoyed some Greek yogurt with ground flax, cinnamon, a chopped dried fig, and a drizzle of maple syrup (1/4 tsp goes a long way). I also added the last pinch of some roasted coconut flakes that was left in the bag.


yogurt with fig

For dinner, I used up a bunch of stuff in the fridge…This ended up being lentils with kale, roasted veggies, and egg whites plus tahini and goat cheese. It was really good for being ugly. IMG_8170

Before bed I had a quick snack of sliced banana with non-fat ricotta that I mixed with some cocoa and a little stevia. Mostly, I wanted to see how it would taste—really good, actually. banana with cocoa ricotta

So that just about sums up one of the ugliest days of food I think I have ever documented. Cheers to cleaning out the fridge before Thanksgiving travel.

What are some of the strangest concoctions you’ve eaten in an attempt to use up food before going away? 

To see more WIAW from other bloggers, visit founder Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons.

What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving Leftover Bowl Some people say that leftovers are one of the best parts of Thanksgiving. They’re certainly among my favorite holiday traditions. While you could just make the same plate for the next 5 meals,  you could also try one of these other ways to dress up your leftovers…
1.) Soup:
It doesn’t get much better than turkey soup on a cold post-Thanksgiving afternoon. Add lots of veggies to give yourself a nourishing post-holiday boost.
2.) Pot Pie:
Take a pie crust (store-bought is fine) and throw in whatever you didn’t eat at dinner. Top with a layer of mashed potatoes or another pie crust and bake.
3.) Egg Muffins:
Line muffin tins and fill with your leftover times of choice (stuffing, chopped turkey meat, and veggies are especially good for this). Crack some eggs and pour over until each cup if about 2/3 of the way full. Bake at 350o until eggs are cooked.
4.) Salad:
Toss leafy greens with turkey meat, roasted brussels sprouts, and cranberry sauce with a little balsamic and olive oil. You can even add a spoonful of stuffing if you want to get weird-is-good with it.
5.) Potato Pile-Up:
Layer mashed potatoes in a bowl with turkey meat, veggies, and gravy and/or cranberry sauce. All the flavors in every bite.

Traveling this Week? What to Eat to Clean the Fridge

IMG_8047Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel weeks of the year. I’m hitting the road after work myself on Wednesday. I’ve just accepted that it will be hectic and that stressing about it will only make it feel worse. I may not be able to control traffic or crowds, but I can plan my meals to make good use of the odds and ends in the fridge. Using up all the perishables before a trip is oddly satisfying. Here are a few of my favorite things to make when trying to clear out the refrigerator:

  • Kitchen-sink salads with all kinds ingredients—Let your tastes buds (and what’s available) be your guide.
  • Omelets—I’ve thrown in everything from last-legs greens, grilled chicken, and roasted vegetables. Have fun coming up with new combos.
  • Soup—Great for using up vegetables. You can always freeze leftovers.
  • Quiche—Another great use for veggies and eggs that you can freeze if you like.
  • Stir-Fry or Pasta—Never underestimate the power of leftover noodles and veggies.
  • Smoothies—Throw in whatever damn fruit and/or veggies you have on hand with some yogurt or milk.

Check out some of my other favorites on my Recipe page. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some oats to pour into that almost-empty peanut butter jar. Breakfast is served.

Are you traveling for Thanksgiving? What do you eat when you need to clean out the fridge? 

 

 

A Small Collection of Joyous Things

The little dude loves his new coat : )

The little dude loves his new coat : )

Happy Sunday! Hope you’re having a good weekend. I wasn’t planning to work at the hospital but ended up picking up a few shifts so have spent most of it working. No complaints, though—I actually like working weekends sometimes.

I’ve been doing a lot of clinical over the past few months, which has certainly been an interesting exercise in living in the moment as far as my schedule is concerned, since I’m constantly juggling. I really love it, though every week is a different sort of balancing act. Sometimes I get confused over which is my “main thing” and which is the “back-up.” Any per diems out there who also do their own thing who can relate? The current plan is to just keep doing what I enjoy and trust my instincts. I feel lucky to enjoy what I do for work, so at this point, it’s all good. Despite the fact that I’m basically working six, seven days a week when you take everything into account, it doesn’t really feel that way. This is how I know I’m still young. Or something like that.

That said, I have a string of days after Thanksgiving where I’m not on the calendar, and I’m going to make an effort to take an actual day off. I have a few freelance projects, events, and private clients scheduled for that week, but I also know it’s important to recharge the ol’ batteries. See? This is me trying to take my own advice!

Um, wow, tangent. Back to the whole point of this post…Welcome to my weekly gratitude list. Here are some things that brought me joy this week.

1.) My birthday isn’t until next Sunday, but I’ve already gotten a few cards. Vegetarianism birthday card

My cousin always sends the best cards. This one from my aunt & uncle is pretty awesome too:Unicorn card

2.) With Thanksgiving coming up, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to go grocery shopping if you’re going to be traveling, but I was out of a few staples on this past Thursday and needed to grab some stuff to get me through to Wednesday. I was way too excited to see two of my favorite Stonewall Kitchen products on sale for only $9.99 at Trader Joe’s. That’s often what I’d pay for just one at my local (overpriced) gourmet market. Stonewall Kitchen

3.) I am obsessed, lately, with maple syrup as a topping for plain yogurt. All you need is 1/4-1/2 tsp to get a great burst of flavor. The other day I enjoyed some plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, flax, and chopped dried fig and then topped it with some syrup and the rest of a packet of cacao nibs—so good. Again, you only need a little to really richen the experience of your snack break. Hah! I sound like an ad person. yogurt with maple syrup

4.) It was so cold this week, I had to break out the unironic Snuggie I used to wear at my last job because it was so cold in my office. It’s ridiculous, but it reminds me of using humor to get through a tough time. This time last year, I was trying really hard to keep it off the blog, but I was not in a great place. I knew I had to make some changes in my professional life but the path was not yet clear and I felt completely powerless and sad about things I couldn’t fix. I would sit there in my bright blue Snuggie, cross-legged in my desk chair typing nutrition notes in my windowless office and crying…until I would remember I was wearing a Snuggie and start laughing. I would think about how one day I would look back at my younger, Snuggie-wearing self and want to tell her all kinds of comforting things. It was my weird, roundabout way, I guess, of telling myself everything was going to be okay—and it really got me through.

5.) I get to see Eli on Wednesday! I miss his furry little butt like crazy, but he’s having an awesome time with my family and their dogs. They’re like the three goddamn musketeers—too f***ing cute.

6.) My Rise business cards came in the mail Saturday. That was a nice surprise. Rise card

What’s brought you joy recently? 

3 Things to Make this Weekend

Yikes—it’s the weekend before Thanksgiving! Actually, this means almost nothing to me since I am not cooking anything. I am, however, stressed as hell about traveling Wednesday after work—me and everyone else. So it goes. There will be a lot of deep breathing going on.

Needless to say, there will not be a ton of cooking going on, but here are a few easy recipes if you’re itching to try something new but don’t want to sesame roasted broccoli make a big effort over the next few days.

1.) Deep-Dish Pancake a la Kath. I finally figured out what to do with the bag of Kodiak Cakes mix in my cupboard. I’ve been taking 1/3 cup mix, 1 tbsp ground flax, 1/8 cup pumpkin, 1/4 cup cranberries, and a dash of pumpkin pie spice and mixing it with 1/3 cup water in a ramekin or bowl. 2-3 rounds of 45-second intervals in the microwave and breakfast is ready. I love it topped with ricotta (mixed with more pumpkin). It’s also great with a few of those Trader Joe’s peanut butter chips thrown in the batter.

2.) Seasame-Roasted Broccoli. I don’t really have a formal recipe for this, but I just wanted to talk about how delicious it is. All you do is chop broccoli into florets and toss with sesame oil. Roast at 400 degrees F until crispy, ~40 minutes.

3.) A hearty oatmeal breakfast. Here are some of my favorites—also great to make on Sunday night to bring to work the next day!

Are you cooking for Thanksgiving? Any recipes/foods you’re planning to make this weekend? 

 

Thinking Out Loud: Spa Castle and Gelatein Wrestling

Happy Thursday. Welcome to this week’s Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where stream-of-consciousness is the name of the game! Thanks to Amanda for hosting!

Thinking-Out-Loud2

Here’s today’s edition of randomness for you:

1.) It’s cold up here in the Northeast. Right now, I am loving it. Ask me how I feel in a few weeks, I guess. That said, my coat (which looks similar to this) is basically a sleeping bag with a belt, and it is awesome.

2.) I’ve been having some crazy dreams lately. I think my favorite was the one where I ran into President Obama in a whirlpool at Spa Castle. What is going on in my brain?

kale and white beans with egg3.) Why don’t I make kale with white beans more often? Fantastic with roasted cauliflower, a poached egg, and goat cheese.

4.) I’ve been doing a lot of research about Pediatric nutrition and talking to parents about getting their kids to eat healthful foods. You guys are my heroes for doing all the things you do while growing tiny humans.

5.) The other day we were brainstorming in the RD office for National Nutrition Month. Some of my (totally serious) suggestions included: scooped bagel breakfast, Gelatein wrestling, and a Q&A on whether or not you can eat the yolk.

6.) Not going to sugar-coat it: my birthday sucked last year. This year, instead of attempting to pull off something Super Fun(!), I decided to plan several small-group, low-key gatherings. We’ll do the karaoke thing in January, once everyone’s holiday buzz has worn off. The celebration kicks off tomorrow night: dinner and a play with my family.

7.) Not like I have the extra income at my fingertips, but maybe I should stop whining about being single and buy myself a right-hand ring for my birthday to celebrate that I am a strong, independent, ambitious lady who makes no apologies for pursuing her dreams (insert inspirational instagram-y pic here). Or I could be a grown-up about it and budget to buy myself one for my 30th next year. On some level, buying oneself a fancy ring seems like kind of a waste because a piece of jewelry is just a thing, but at the same time, I could get so many “married to myself” jokes out of it.

8.) I am reading Amy Poehler’s book, Yes, Please. LOVE it.

What’s on your mind this Thursday? Would you buy yourself a right-hand ring? 

 

What I Ate Wednesday #189: Another RD potluck

Another week, another What I Ate Wednesday…Sometimes I ask myself why I’m still doing this. Like, is this some kind of weird anthropological documentation? A habit? I do love habits—it’s my Type A side. In any case, no plans to stop anytime soon. So here you go, another peak into a day in the life of an RD.

(stream of consciousness insert: I read the news today, oh boy…)

Saturday, I worked at the hospital and then later met up with some RD friends from grad school for our first potluck dinner since, like, springtime. It was so lovely to catch up with these lovely ladies and share delicious homemade foods.

Breakfast: I started my morning with some pumpkin cranberry oats topped off with some dark chocolate peanut butter. So freaking good—and filling. This kept me full for more than four ours—no small feat. Because I like to work out in the morning, I am usually ravenous by the time I sit down to start screening the day’s patient workload. Saturday was no exception. This totally hit the spot.

Lunch: Steamed kale topped with chicken sausage and roasted veggies; a gorgeous cortland apple for dessert. WIAW 189

Snack: Some dry-roasted edamame (unpictured) to keep myself from gnawing my arm off before dinner.

Dinner: In addition to some homemade ricotta and butternut squash lasagna prepared by the hostess, we enjoyed salmon, a quinoa & veggie dish, veggie biriyani, kale with white beans and roasted garlic (my humble contribution), and crostini with spinach and melted mozzarella. There was red wine to drink.IMG_8088

I had a little of everything and went back for more salmon: potluck nov 2014

For dessert, there was an apple pie and a sticky toffee cake. I only got a photo of one, but it was gorgeous! Props to Natalie’s husband for his crust-making skills. Note to self: marry a man who likes to cook and will make treats for my lady-friends. Apple pie

Have you ever done a potluck dinner? What are some of your favorite dinner-party foods? Does your partner (real or hypothetical) like to cook? 

To see more WIAW from other bloggers, visit founder Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons.

 

Oatmeal Desk-Breakfast

Happy Monday! What are you eating for breakfast this morning?

IMG_8078Oatmeal is a popular breakfast amongst the RDs at the hospital. It’s nourishing, filling, and damn delicious. I’ve really been enjoying starting my work days with a hot bowl (aka Pyrex container) of oats. I’ll usually prepare a double or triple batch at home ahead of time so I can just grab and go and then reheat it when I get to my desk in the morning. I especially love it topped with peanut butter (surprise, surprise). The combination of complex carbs (hello, fiber), protein, and fat keeps me going for hours.

Because my co-workers often ask what I’m eating that smells so good, here are a few of my recent favorite recipes. I like to cook egg whites into my oatmeal, but if you’re vegan or just not into it, feel free to skip that step.

What’s your favorite breakfast? 

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