Archives for category: eating

Finding time to blog is hard. If it weren’t, I promise a month wouldn’t go by with no sight of my latest bites. Finding time to eat isn’t hard – we all gotta do that, but coming across a free minute to get to the store for those particular ingredients that make that picture perfect recipe is where it gets hard. Leisure time isn’t easy to find when you work and rarely get to play.

I’ve begun to learn that in order to keep our brains sane, we need an outlet. This outlet is where we’re no longer buried under our brain’s never ending, abandoned thoughts, but we’re instead being led by our heart’s passions. Before we know it, we’re happily lost. This happens when I visit takegoodbites, and I wonder how I let a month go by without allowing my heart to get lost again.

This visit didn’t involve baking or cooking, but just a few stirs and one pour. This made for the easiest chocolatey treat ever!

My ingredients:

– 1 cup of healthy fat from coconut oil

– 1/2 cup of peanut butter

– 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa

– 1 cup of maple syrup

– 2 cups of oats

-1/2 cup of quinoa

-1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup chopped pecans

The oil, peanut butter, syrup and cocoa were melted then poured to be mixed with the rest of the goodies. After a couple dozen spoonfuls were place on some foil, they were cooled and enjoyed with a cold glass of almond milk.

You bet the moment I forecast another gap in life’s hectic routines, I’ll be thinking about takegoodbites. Every heart deserves to get lost every once in a while.

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Snacks are important. Without them your 3 o’clock work hour may become the hour of heavy eyelids and shuffling feet. This is a no-no for the working girl. When you’re on the clock, it’s time to work – get things done – be productive – be smart – be motivated – ya know, work! These things happen when we’re supplied with the right kind of nutrients. We want to snack on the things that are going to give our brains and bodies a moderate yet sustainable amount of sugar, and avoid the foods that will spike us one minute and crash us the next.

The good bites you’ll find in my snack drawer:

Fruit – This weeks it’s apples. Last week is was cuties.

Justin’s nut butter. I love their perfect little snack packs. It’s a great day of snacking when I have an apple to pair it with.

Bear Naked Fit granola. You might eat a handful too much of this stuff. Beware.

Banana chips. Another favorite addition to Justin’s nut butter.

We all could use more veggies in our lives. You’re only human to want to somehow disguise the taste of greens, but I’ve found that carrots and their sweetness are yummy alone. I hear when you learn to like em’ your eyes might begin to sparkle.

Water. Lots and lots of water.

Take good bites and your drive to be a successful working girl will last long through that 3 o’clock hour.

I’m here!

Life has been bringing some unexpected surprises – some happy, some sad, but all good.

I like to trust that all things turn to good.

Funny how life works. Just when new and exciting things happen, walls come crashing – or so it seems. So what do you do? Forget about all that once sparkled and shined? I choose not! Right as I began to, I took my camera to the kitchen.

There’s something about being creative in a kitchen that puts my heart in a place of contentment.  Seeing that I could let life’s surprises push me away from that, leaves me regretful. Sorry, pride.

Sure, this road has made a slight change in direction, but I won’t let it rob me of what brings joy. You think I’m silly, but I really do care about take good bites!

About the new job. I’m really excited about it! I just got back from training at Sona’s corporate office in North Carolina. I spoke to the top dogs and got to wear heels everyday! The most exciting thing was learning exactly what my job entails. My role as the Lifestyle Educator is to keep clients on track through their weight loss journey from beginning to end. If you’re a woman, you know that losing weight comes with challenges. Sona recognizes these challenges by providing encouragement along with their program. That’s me. If I perform as I was trained to, the success rate will be higher and pant sizes will be smaller. I’m ready!

Want to see some food? Because I actually made some today. It’s called falafel and prepackaged.

I get excited about adding new things to my grocery buggy.

I’ll be hopeless if flat out wraps ever go out of style.

flat out. falafel. hummus. mustard. tomato. onion. spinach. salt. pepper.

I baked one too many falafels. It was eaten with a hint of mustard. Mustard is a MUST with falafel. I imagine blandness without it.

What I did:

baked falafel. spread hummus. swirled mustard. placed tomato, onion and spinach. sliced falafel. rolled flat out.

Is it even necessary to include such simple instructions? It’s time to advance my recipes, like making my own falafels. take good bites is worthier than prepackaged, eh?

I want to believe I have people that take interest in take good bites. Somewhere along this blogging journey, I hope there’s a reader that falls upon my blog and finds the same contentment I do through accidentally smudging mustard on my camera.

Time to clean up…

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.

because

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.

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.

{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.

Light breakfasts are how I usually do things. When I say light, I mean I’ll grab a banana and hit the road. Bananas, apples, and grapes are my three go-to breakfast grabbers.  For one, because I love fruit.  Two, most mornings don’t allow time to prepare a sit down meal, and three, because when eaten alone, fruit is the stomach’s favorite and easiest thing to digest. Actually, Fit for Life told me that our stomachs don’t even digest fruit. It’s predigested before we even take a bite!  We eat em’ and their flavorful nutrients immediately shoot through our stomachs with no stalling.  Fruit is cleansing, not clogging. (Only G rated terms allowed) This is what makes for a refreshing, energetic morning.  When our stomachs are fresh, we feel fresh.  Kapeesh?

Occasionally, I’m up early enough to grab my fruit, train a couple of clients at the gym, and get back home hours before lunch. In a case like this, my fruit has done its cleansing thing (another G rated term for ya), but breakfast is still on my mind.  That’s when it’s time for nutrient packed breakfast number two. This one, a little more sustaining.

{spinach}

{always wash your produce like your momma says}

{crumbled feta, tomato, spinach, egg, flat out flatbread}

{humane}

{1. sauté spinach with oil}

{2. add egg whites}

{3. combine with tomato}

{4. sprinkle with feta}

{eat the 5th favorite step}

There’s a typical double breakfast for ya. If a kitchen isn’t available, I’ll keep my favorite granola near by, but sometimes I’ll grab more fruit. Double fruit – Double cleanse.

I’m that type of chef (we’re all chefs) that will buy groceries by the day according to what sounds appealing. I don’t enjoy disrespecting my taste buds by eating something that would displease them. Crazy?  No, because you know we all do it.  We get hungry, make our way to the kitchen, and stare at a fridge full of food we don’t want.  After unwanted food is eaten, we walk away from our nibbled at plate with our irritated face.  I kicked the controlling routine of buying and planning my weekly grocery list after realizing my irritating face had irritated me to my wits end.

Through this discovery I have found eating as an act of service.  I don’t eat just to eat, but eat because it’s what my body needs to function efficiently. I serve my body by fueling it with the nutrients and flavors it asks for.

Now let’s be real, when you’re hungry, you’re hungry and anything sounds delish.  When that’s the case, welp, you’ve saved yourself a trip the grocery store. That’s why I find it fair to always have those few things that are at the top of your list as taste bud pleasers.

When I’ve discovered my cravings, but creativity is lacking in the kitchen, I’ll hobble over to another blog for inspiration. In a case like this, I promise to always give credit where credit is due. Doughing Rogue is one that deserves full recognition for providing a recipe that was exactly what seemed appetizing after yesterday’s long day of heat. I wanted a cold, light, fresh, produce filled meal, and this summer salad made all those eating dreams come true.

{I didn’t know how to cut a mango, but google did}

{almost too fun to eat}

{I tweaked the recipe by spicing my fries up with cayenne pepper}

{the spice of cayenne and sweetness of mango was strangely right}

{lacking protein, but surely not flavor}

oil. salt. cayenne. sweet potato. mango. bell pepper. leafy green romaine. balsamic vinaigrette.

Sometimes our taste buds just don’t line up.

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