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I Break for Coffee

Wow, that is the most shameful pun of a title ever. Anyway.

Happy Saturday! How’s your weekend going? Hope you’re getting in some good sleep. I usually shoot for seven to eight hours, even if it means cutting back on being “fun” or whatever it is I used to stay up late doing. I spent my college years and early twenties pretending not to be a morning person, and it’s been nice not to live that lie anymore these past few years.

That said, sometimes I stay up late working or have a social or business event that keeps me out past grandma o’clock. That’s what coffee is for…Actually, I generally only need it earlier in the day—before 2 pm, generally. I (usually) switch to decaf after that point, but no way would I turn down a coffee break. It’s a great chance to catch up with a friend, network with someone new, or just a good excuse to take a walk around the block and clear your head.

Here’s fun infographic about coffee break habits. How do yours compare?

Brewing Success: Coffee Makes the Workplace Go Round

What to make this weekend

Happy Friday. Any plans for the weekend? I’m looking forward to catching up with friends, testing a few recipes, and enjoying the nice weather. Because it’s been nice enough to have the windows open, I’ve found myself playing this live, acoustic Jackson Browne album on repeat. And Volume One of the same set. So embarrassing…It’s just so good. It’s also a trip to hear, like, jokes and snide commentary about George W.  Remember when…?

Speaking of recipes/cooking, I appreciate that my iPhone text predictor/autocorrect recognizes “crustaceans” as something I say on the regular. I bought some langostino tails at Trader Joe’s the other day and now I want to put them in all the things. Apparently, “langostino” is Spanish for “little lobster.” It’s very similar to lobster in taste and texture but more like shrimp in terms of size. With only 70 calories, 1 gram of fat (0 g saturated), and 75 mg cholesterol per serving, it’s a great source of lean protein and delicious in a wide range of dishes. Man, you’d think the company was, like, paying me to talk about how much I love these things, but I swear I’m just newly re-obssessed with them. Trader Joes Langostino Tails

I’ve definitely talked about langostino on the blog before, but it’s been a while. They’re sold frozen, but are easy to thaw in the microwave or even in warm water. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use them:

  • In salad, especially if avocado and lime juice are also involved
  • In scrambled eggs. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it
  • In mac & cheese. Ever tried lobster mac & cheese? It’s like that but, well, different.
  • In pasta. Use the langostino the way you’d use shrimp, tossed into a pasta dish. You could also be ambitious and throw into a food processor with some other stuff to make ravioli filling.

Got a case of spring fever and cooking for someone special? For anyone not in the mood for tiny crustaceans, you could also browse one of these cookbooks for a winning date-night recipe.

What are you up to this weekend? Any recipes you’re looking to try? Have you ever had langostino tails? 

 

Thinking Out Loud: Strange Brew

So, Thursday. I don’t know about you guys, but this week has been super-busy. Fortunately, it’s been more of the good-busy variety over here, so I’ll take it.

On a related note, I’m looking for guest posters. I’d love to feature your recipes, healthy kitchen hacks, and other general awesomeness. If you’re interested, send an email to info(at)jessicacordingnutrition(dot)com.

In the spirit of today’s randomness party link-up, here are a few other things on my mind.

*To keep myself going without out overdoing it on the caffeine front, I’ve been loving match tea. It may look strange to anyone averse to green beverages, but it tastes lovely. Basically ground-up green tea leaves, matcha is a superfood powerhouse full of antioxidants and has been touted for its potential to fight cancer, boost metabolism, and improve focus and concentration. Yes, please! matcha keeping it real food

Matcha has ~25 mg caffeine per 2 teaspoon serving vs ~75 mg per 1.5 ounce shot of espresso, for anyone keeping score.

*Can we please talk about the hair on Mad Men this season? And oh my god—especially the facial hair! I also kind of love how Roger and Megan’s mother can’t stay away from each other.

*I’ve spent a lot of time in heels this week. Pros and cons.

  • Pros: They look awesome.
  • Cons: My feet are soooo tired.

*That reminds me, I totally have massages I haven’t used through my Massage Envy membership. Maybe this is a good reason to get on that.

What’s on your mind this Thursday? 

This post has been part of another Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where randomness is the o of the game. Thanks to Amanda for hosting.

What I Ate Wednesday #210

Happy What I Ate Wednesday. How’s your week going? I’m loving the return of the spring weather. It’s been hard to stay inside. I get a kick out of how many more steps my devices tell me I take when it’s sunny and not freezing cold. I’m a weather wuss and I am not ashamed.

Anyway, to get to the “What I Ate” part of this weekly link-up, here’s a look at what I ate Saturday, when I worked at the hospital.

Breakfast: Zucchini bread oatmeal and peanut butterZucchini bread oatmeal desk breakfast

Lunch: Salad with lots of roasted veggies, slow cooker pulled chicken, and labneh dressingSaturday Desk Lunch

Snacks: An apple, Greek yogurt with coconut flour, cinnamon, and blueberries, a glass of sparkling wine at a cafe (unpictured—sorry!)

Dinner: Steamed sweet potato with shredded brussels sprouts, bacon, and a poached egg. I guess it’s sort of like a sweet potato hash? After I took this photo I added a sprinkle of parmesan.  brussels sprouts sweet potato hash

Bedtime Snack: A sliced banana with ~1 teaspoon peanut butter and chocolate chips banana PB chocolate chips

It was a day that started busy but ended up being pretty mellow, which I’d really needed.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently? 
To see more WIAW from other bloggers, visit founder Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons.

Can you overdo it on supplements?

After Khloe Kardashian posted a photo of her extensive vitamin pill regimen, the Internet was buzzing over whether that degree of supplementation is appropriate or even safe. I was asked to weigh in on the topic for a Yahoo Health article.

Khloe Kardashian posted this photo of her supplements she's bringing with her on a trip to Armenia. “Vitamin party!”, she says. “I don’t have a pillbox because for all the pills I take, the pull box is large and bulky.” (Photo: Instagram)

Rather than make a blanket statement about which supplements everyone should or should not be on, I feel it depends on a patient’s individual needs. I had a professor in school who used to say that the only thing a vitamin supplement can “cure” is a deficiency in that vitamin, and I tend to take a similar approach, recommending supplements to address gaps in the diet or to treat underlying deficiencies.

It’s worth noting that it’s possible to overdo it on certain vitamin and mineral supplements, especially if you’re taking various blends with several different things in them. At best, you’ll excrete excess amounts, but GI discomfort and more serious side effects may occur. You also need to be mindful of potential interactions with any medications you may be on. Okay, now I sound like the doom-and-gloom part of an advertisement for a medication.

Though I consider my approach to supplements somewhat conservative, there are a few things I do find myself recommending to most clients:

Vitamin D: Many of us in this northern hemisphere get inadequate sun exposure to synthesize vitamin D, and because there are few naturally occurring food sources, it’s hard to eat enough unless you rely on fortified products (dairy, cereals, etc).

Probiotics: Because so much of our overall health depends on the health of our gastrointestinal tract, promoting good digestion is important. Regularly taking a probiotic supplement populates the GI system with these good bacteria to help keep things running s,monthly (pun intended).

Depending on a person’s needs, I may also recommend fish oil. For my female clients, we often talk about magnesium supplementation to help manage PMS, and occasionally vitamin B-6. Vitamin B-12, calcium, and iron also come up, particularly with someone on a plant-based diet. I’m not quick to recommend multivitamins, but if someone’s eating patterns are erratic or they rarely eat fruits and/or vegetables, it may be appropriate. The one usual exception is prenatal vitamins. Again, it’s case by case, and needs to be based on the whole picture of what’s going on with someone.

Do you take any supplements? Which ones? 

Sweet Caramelized Carrots

Sick of baby carrots? Me too.

caramelized carrots Keeping It Real FoodWhen healthcare professionals start talking about easy ways to add veggies into your diet, baby carrots inevitably come up.  I’ve been guilty of this myself, at times. If I ever told you to eat baby carrots and you were like, “Yeah, uh-huh, whatever, Jess,” I’m sorry. Truly.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with baby carrots, it’s just that they’re easy to get sick of really quickly. That said, carrots are packed with tons of nutrients: fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C…They also happen to work in both sweet and savory dishes quite nicely.

So I know Easter just happened and all, so you’re probably also sick of hearing about rabbits and carrots nad whatot, but this was too good not to share. This side dish tastes sweet yet substantial–hardly rabbit food. Pair with meat or fish or try  tossed into a salad or even a stir-fry. For a different twist, try it over plain yogurt or even oatmeal. Weird but good, I promise. Enjoy!
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into sticks about 1 inch long and 1/4″ thick
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss carrots in coconut oil. Baked until tender and beginning to brown, about 45 minutes.

Are you sick of baby carrots? 

A Small Collection of Joyous Things

Happy Sunday! How’s your weekend going?

I’m just going to keep things short and sweet today. Here are a few things on my little gratitude list this week:

* Thursday morning before we all dove into our workdays, I met up with my mom and sister for breakfast. I ordered an egg white omelet with wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, and bacon. Yep, bacon in my egg white omelet—priorities. After almost a week of feeling dragged down and depleted (hormonal factors secondary to stress and being female), I felt my body come back to life almost instantly. Good company and good food (plus good coffee) have a magical way of doing that.

bacon egg white omelet

* Getting a dog was one of the best things I’ve ever done, even with all the plot twists in the story considered. I don’t know how I ever lived without this little nut-job in the picture. Now this is a rainy morning done right: Eli rainy morning

* I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I was in Miami for my lady-friend’s wedding. While I was there, I didn’t do much shopping, but I did manage to pick up these little jars of solid perfume. They’re the perfect olfactory pick-me-up. The coconut makes me feel like I’m on the vacation, and the rose is nice to put on when I need to feel like a girl who’s still capable of cleaning up nice. Pacifica Perfume

*We should probably not talk about how long I will sometimes stay in my sweaty gym clothes on days I work from home, but what better chance to give a shout-out to Athleta for having awesome sales and to Old Navy for having the best damn compression tights under $30?

What are you grateful for lately?  

 

Smoothie Shake-Up for Coffee Addicts

Need your morning smoothie to do double-duty as a wakeup call sometimes? Me too.

Last Saturday at the hospital, my co-worker and I started laughing when I said, “Oh wait, no—I’ve only had 48 ounces of coffee so far today.”

green coffee smoothieOnly. 

Good grief.

I deal with a light touch of insomnia early on every spring, it seems, so it’s not surprising that my coffee habit is a little more need-based lately. Still, this smoothie is a tasty way to get the day started with a little jolt, regardless of whether you do decaf or all the way-all the way hghi-caf. All you do is swap out some or all of the liquid in your smoothie for cold brewed coffee—I make mine the night before and put in the fridge in a thermos. You can add the spinach or not, but why not get some greens in when you can make them taste like a frappuccino? Just saying…

Ingredients: 

  • 4-6 oz cold black coffee
  • 4 oz milk of choice (I used unsweetened coconut milk)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 large handful baby spinach

Directions:

  1. Layer ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.

Serves 1

How much coffee do you drink in a day? What’s your favorite coffee drink? 

What to make this weekend

Happy Friday! What’s on the agenda this weekend? So far I know I’m working at Saturday shift at the hospital and going to yoga at some point, but otherwise, my calendar is blissfully blank. Let’s see what the next few days bring. It feels good not to be over-scheduled for a change! Got some cooking planned? Here are a few suggestions from yours truly:

Sweet potato and goat cheese are a flavor match made in heaven. Do it. IMG_9744

5 tips for packing a lunch you’ll actually want to eat, via The Kitchn. Need a little inspiration? They also have a list of 20 make-ahead lunch ideas.

This Smitten Kitchen Avocado Cucumber Salad: I just love the way her brain works.

Speaking of avocado (I must be on a kick—remember last week’s ode to avocado toast?), I was cleaning out old computer files the other day and found this little number from the dark ages:

Toast

He has no idea

the wealth he leaves

on the plate,

the sacrifice involved in gifting

half a perfect avocado,

the last slice of the good bread.

***

April is National Poetry Month, after all…Still, the example above is a fantastic example of why I don’t attempt to make a living off poetry ; )

This is also, apparently, how I learned to be more discerning about the people I share my avocados with. It’s kind of like the food blogger version of “If it came down to it, would I give this person a kidney?” Or am I the only one who makes lists that way?

What’s on your to-cook list this weekend? Any fun plans coming up? Are you discerning with your avocado-sharing? 

Thinking Out Loud

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

So yeah, Thursday. Somehow? In the spirit of this weekly celebration of randomness, here’s what I’ve got for ya:

1.) This Yahoo Food article where I and a few other folks share our thoughts about instant ramen noodles.

image borrowed from Yahoo Food

2.) I am not a makeup girl. I don’t have anything against it, in theory, but I can’t stand the feeling of stuff on my face and have been doing the same basic routine since I was sixteen: black liquid liner on the upper lids only, black mascara, and clear mascara to keep my eyebrows in check. I wear blush in the wintertime when I remember. Red lipstick or bust. I own a stick of concealer and have played around with the under-eye stuff, but I’m not exactly confident in my skills. I only wear cream eye shadow because powder feels too itchy and weird. Finding Nars’ The Multiple in Copacabana back in 2007 was a godsend because this highlighter stick solved all my problems.

Well…I went to Sephora the other day to get a new one, only to be told they stopped carrying that shade almost 2 years ago. Then it dawned on me that the last one I’d bought had been in 2011 and I’d been using it all this time. Yes, I know I’m disgusting, but I just loved it so much. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it…and now it is no more. Typical eclipse weather business. The end of a f***ing era. The whole point of an eclipse, though, is for all the old stuff to fall away to make room for a new order, so I guess I should take this as a cosmic point in the right cosmetic direction. I’m sort of kidding.

3.) Here’s a gratuitous puppy picture from Easter weekend in New Jersey. Eli slept curled up next to me all Sunday night, and it was the best sleep I’ve had in a long time. He has the best sleep every day:

Eli Easter bedtime

4.) Sam Sifton to write cooking advice column for men. Love this.

5.) Caffeine addiction has been on my mind a lot lately. I think I’m doing it wrong. Unless there is no right way.

6.) Starbucks is now offering green smoothies. Thoughts? I’m actually cool with it—if it’s a way to get more people to swap their sugary frappuccino for something with some actual nutrients in it (and for fewer calories at that), I’m game. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll definitely give it a shot at some point.

What’s on your mind this Thursday? 

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