Archives for the month of: September, 2011

I’ve been away from takegoodbites for a day too long. My fridge doesn’t happen to be empty, nor is there much free space on my camera’s memory card.  My yummy favorites are still made, but sometimes the only free breathes I’m able to take are those that happen when I’m getting some shut eye. Ya follow?

I really love the flavors of Mexican food. I’m grateful for this, considering the number of vegetarian friendly options the cuisine offers. Mexican food makes being a vegetarian simple. People don’t ask question when a cheese quesadilla is ordered – simple!

No mexican flavored meal is complete without guacamole.

{avocado, cilantro, onion, and salt}

My Colt got all fancy and bought organic cilantro. What a guy!

An apron should actually be worn during the making of guacamole.

I like to leave some texture in my guacamole, so I go easy on the smashing. Some like theirs creamy, while others like theirs limy. Spice can be added by slicing some jalapenos. Different days bring different moods from the taste buds – therefore; tomorrow might come with a few more smashes.

One thing that doesn’t change with my guacamole are my chips. If baked is an option, I grab em’. If you want to take good bites, you will too!

Guacamole alone isn’t sufficient in nutrients to complete a meal. Although hunger could be surpassed with a bowl of healthy fatty quac, you don’t want to overdose. Can’t let the “healthy” overpower the “fatty.”

A variety of vitamins were added after sauteing some veggies.

 You betcha I went back for seconds.


It’s been 5 hours since breakfast, and I feel as though I could go another 5 – although it’s against my metabolism’s religion to go more than 2.  This 2 hour regimen may partially have to do with the fact that my job requires me to lift, move, and hand my LOA friends dumbbells all morning long. One client in, and my blood has used up all the sugar from my peanut butter covered banana breakfast. When I know my morning calls for lots of work and little break time, I prepare a breakfast that will keep me far from famished.

{transform a mini breakfast into a lasting one}

{you’re not the only one that thinks I eat bird food}

1/2 banana. 1/2 apple – team granny smith fuji! dollop plain greek yogurt. dollop peanut butter. 1/2 cup oats. chia seeds.

{the messier you make it, the tastier. trust}

It’s all in the oats. I don’t know how those guys do it, but they keep hunger away longer than I’ve pleaded all other breakfasts to – and without making me feel all icky. They’re comfy oats. In fact, Oh She Glows can tell you all you need to know about oats. She’s the oats expert that finds ways to change her oats to fit her seasons. Amazing! Her Fall spice oatmeal recipe is first on my list to try come Friday.


Friday is the first day of Fall, yall!

Next time you see this breakfast, pumpkin will have replaced the banana. Every banana!

I love hummus. Give me a veggie and I’ll find a hummus that compliments it. Throw a veggie patty in there and I’m sold.

If there happens to be days I’ve consecutively left takegoodbites to prune, It’s probably because freedom only allowed time for veggie hummus patties.  They’re the simplest, yet the yummiest.  I’ll probably be frowned upon for explaining what it took to create this far from difficult masterpiece, but then again, maybe I’ll be frowned upon for not. So I’ll satisfy both parties.

What I needed:

Morningstar burger (I promise you’ll be happy with any kind, but the veggie patty is my first pick), hummus, veggies

What I did:

cooked that bad boy burger, spread some hummus, topped with sauteed veggies.

If this past weekend had allowed time for grocery shopping, veggies might have been stacked too high to balance. A spinach, onion, tomato, avocado, and bell pepper toped veggie patty might have taken place of the snap peas that were also whipped up in no time.

The snap peas were:

Boiled for 5 minutes, then sauteed with olive oil and garlic.  Sautéing them made them less bouncy and more crunchy, but some may prefer bouncy boiled peas. Whatever makes your peas fit your pod.

Yesterday, my girl Hannah and I made the best use of this new breezy coolness by playing in it.  She asked if I’d put her through a sweat session and the weather was just too inviting to reject, so I grabbed my healthy goodies and found an open field perfect for the job.

Putting Hannah’s pain aside, it was one of the best workouts that not one gym has ever provided. I’ll take grassy shoes over germy workout machines any day.

It takes investing in a few pieces of equipment, but if you make the wise move of stopping into your nearest TJMaxx, I betcha you’ll find yourself a bargain. TJ is where I got all five of my favorite workout goodies and still had a few pennies left over for my Starbucks caffè misto.

yoga mat. medicine ball. resistance band. kettlebell. dumbbells.

With a little creativity, I was able to come up with 5 supersets that hit just about every muscle group.  Every superset consisted of two exercises where 8-15 repetitions were completed for each exercise. The system I went by was one that alternated between upper body and lower body. This gives each muscle group time to recoup before pushing it to its limits with the second set. After completing both exercises (one superset), with little rest in between, we went on to repeat the same superset over again. After superset one, came superset two. This workout keeps our heart rates up while simultaneously making our muscles scream mercy. Fat can’t help but flee.

{that’s what I call leading by example}

Let me share:

sumo squat with side leg lifts (kettlebell) – reverse fly (dumbbells)

walking lunges (dumbbells) – lat pull over on swiss ball (kettlebell)

shuffle (resistance band) – upright row (resistance band)

squats to shoulder press (kettlebell) – tricep kickbacks (dumbells)

kettlebell swings – push ups

The weather is here, as is that grassy field. It’s just your job to go find it.

I just went there. I crossed that line. I’m now a self phone photographer. Ewwy. Maybe some grace will be given for the fact that there is purpose behind this picture. It’s for you – to prove that nastiness happens in the gym. Messy hair, glistened bodies, germy hands, fatigued faces. I’ve learned to embrace em’ all.  It took awhile to get there, but when you find worth in a good sweat session and you’re favorite jam is cranked, everyone else’s wondering eyes begin to cease and work it done.

After weights comes protein, and for some protein powder. Protein powder has been one that has burdened me. As a vegetarian, it’s easy to be put in the category as one that lacks nutrients, which is why there was a time I was hesitant to take protein supplements.  I wanted to prove that every nutrient my body needs could be received through eating whole foods, not supplements.

Why prove anything to anybody? For me, protein power isn’t consumed because it’s absent from my diet, but because after I’ve challenged my muscles, protein is needed for repairing. It’s needed – and truthfully, eating a 20 gram heavy veggie burger doesn’t sound appetizing after 20 grams of sprints, if sprints were measured in grams.

I prefer protein ice cream.

It’s all in the fruit. It’s got to be frozen.

I picked a protein that had ingredients I could actually pronounce and didn’t fill up the entire ingredient chart.

In my protein ice cream:

frozen bananas. frozen peaches. 1/4 cup almond milk. water (enough to allow blending) chocolate protein. spoonful of plain greek yogurt. smidge of truvia. 3 ice cubes. swirly straw.

Be kind and keep your protein ice cream under 20 grams. Too much protein turns to mush. Mush is bad.

I followed this truck furiously this morning. My heart broke for these animals knowing where they were headed. So I came up with an escape plan for them. Certainly, mr. truck driver had to hit up some truck stop along his way and when he did, I would make my move. I would open every single cage and set every single innocent chicken free.

But my exit came before his truck stop, so I just went home and ate a veggie burger instead.

{my little blogging corner. magic happens here.}

I mentioned the whole protein deficiency thing because it’s the first thing I’m asked when I tell someone I’m a vegetarian. If it’s not asked, I know it’s wondered so I do my carnivore friends a favor by answering their unasked question anyway.

Protein. Where do I get it?

Strangely, it’s assumed that the only way we get protein is through eating meat. When really, there are so many other protein rich foods that non-vegetarians already eat. It’s not that vegetarians are lacking protein, there’s just a misconception as to what foods actually contain protein. The good kind. That’s humane, cholesterol, fat, and pesticide free.

For breakfast you got your oat. Keep it old fashioned.

These hearty goodies come in at 5 grams of protein per serving, and if you’re hungry like I was this morning, you’ll have two servings (1 cup). You know I’m all about eating intuitively, which is why some mornings call for cold oats instead of hot oatmealy ones. Opposed to being normal and warming my Quaker oats in water or milk, I planned ahead and let my oats soak in cold, unsweetened almond milk. After a 2 hour soak in the fridge, they had puffed up and were ready to meet a portion of my body’s protein needs.

In my oats:

unsweetened almond milk. chia seeds. spoonful of Truvia. dash of cinnamon.

It’ll be awhile before I go back to my old warm oats ways.

For dinner, you got your tacos.

TVP is the best. I get mine from Whole Foods where it’s made from soybeans, but can be flavored to taste like meat. At 12 grams of protein per serving, I’ve learned to get real creative with this stuff. Tacos, sloppy joes, and chili are my favorite TVP meals.

Here’s where I get all crazy on ya and use generic taco seasoning. Sometimes old ways are the best ways.

{clean, flavorful protein}

What I used:

tortillas. veggies. (I chose tomato, yellow pepper, red pepper, and was sad to not have an avocado). TVP. seasoning. your favorite cheese – I used feta. cilantro.

What I did:

sliced my veggies. sautéed veggies after heating up a quarter size of olive oil. TVP. (3 minute directions included on bag). added seasoning to TVP – let your taste buds decide how much – It’s your taco. layered tortilla with TVP, veggies, cilantro, cheese.

Simplest vegetarian, protein filled meal out there.

This life as a vegetarian has definitely allowed my taste buds to try things I never knew existed. TVP? WTH! It’s also forced me to do my research and assure that I’m getting my body’s needed nutrients. When you know what you’re eating, your body will thank you.

{garlic snap peas for snacking}

Surely it’s known by now that I’m a vegetarian. I really don’t even like putting a label on my diet.  I’m not a vegetable eating somebody, I just don’t eat meat.

I haven’t purposely avoided coming out of the vegetarian closet, per se. I just didn’t want my blog to be all about vegetarianism, but instead about being healthy. Ya know – taking good bites.

Now, for me, adopting a vegetarian lifestyle didn’t just happen over night. Much research was done prior to the adjustment in order to assure that this drastic change would be a healthy one. Originally, the process of factory farming was what turned me on to a plant-based diet, but over the past two years, more research has led me to believe that this is also the healthiest way to fuel my body.  Not once have I thought about turning back and not once have I thought about investing in a vegetarian bumper sticker.

This way of eating has never been a challenge for me, but answering the many questions that come my way, at times has been. I know you’ve got questions. I’ve got answers. Next time let’s talk about how I avoid the cause of illness people assume I’m dying of. Protein deficiency.

It’s only been two days and I already miss scrambling my kitchen creations from countertop to countertop searching for the perfect lighting. Although there are things I miss about being home, I’m also glad to be in a place that’s so foreign to what I’m used to. It’s these new surroundings that have forced me to think differently, view my days differently, and even use my camera differently. Tomatoes aren’t always the most fun things to take pictures of.

If you’re close to me, you know that I am a very structured person. This is even true when it comes to the order of events that happen throughout my day. Now, most days I am very grateful for such a personality because it leads to very few surprises. But, BUT, this personality can also be exhausting when energy is put into planning, organizing, and controlling each day so that surprises are avoided.

Creed, Colorado has helped me embrace surprises.

This afternoon we took a 4-wheel drive trail through the mountains to a mining museum. This drive wasn’t in the itinerary and since it wasn’t, snacks weren’t prepared. This simple change in our day had me silent because of hunger and lack of control over the decision. Call me silly.

This change in plans was what lead to the happiest moment I’ve had on this trip yet. At the museum, the tour guide handed me a bag of crackers with no explanation. As soon as the rattling of the bag was heard, my new little friend came running probably more hungry than I thought I was. I fed a chipmunk from my hand, on a mountain, with a sweatshirt on, in the summer! That never happens in Texas.

I know I’ll wake up tomorrow asking for another surprise.

There was a pit stop in Amarillo at The Big Texan. It only seemed appropriate.

We made it to my Aunt and Uncle’s cabin early this morning. There were cups of coffee waiting to be shared with crisp air and pretty views.

An afternoon of hiking was the perfect medicine after a 14 hours car ride.

There’s so much more flavor in a raspberry that’s been picked right off the vine.

Fulfilled, and it’s only day one.

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