Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I’ve really got to start taking more/better pictures.

This week has been crazy, absolutely nuts. I can’t even explain. I’ve been eating a lot of meals out of my lunchbox is all I’ve got to say. Well not really. But the main staple of my diet this week: peanut butter and banana sandwiches of various degrees



Well the last one was actually made into french toast, yeah I’m fancy. It happened to have been Saturday (I think) so I had extra time.

So no I did not start the FODMAPS experiment yet, that will have to wait. I’ll be feeling really sick which I think is due to my stress but a certain RD friend of mine suggested maybe I didn’t get enough protein last week during my Vegan week. Who knows, it’s quite possible. Either way I’ve been plagued by headaches and nausea for about a week now on and off. Not fun stuff when I’m trying to cram work.

I did take time for one very special thing that I had been working on since before National Nutrition Month even started (I’m so sad it’s ending!). Simmons Nutrition Department will often show food-related movies but we’ve all seen Food, Inc and King Corn more than enough times. I wanted something fresh! And so I found Fresh. It’s like a continuation from Food, Inc. showing what you can do AFTER you realize how bad industrialized farming is. It featured many great and interesting people including an urban farmer, a sustainable farmer, and a local supermarket owner. I highly recommend visiting the website and finding a screening of it (it’s still new so it’s not freely available on DVD yet).

Watch the trailer here:



Question: Have you seen Food Inc, King Corn, or Fresh? Any thoughts about what you’ve seen/heard?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Vegan week ends with a trip to ANCE

Vegan week was mighty successful I think.  Most of the time it wasn’t difficult, though the other day I really wanted an omelet. But since I couldn’t, I switched it up from hot cereal to toast. Covered 2 slices of Ezekiel 4:9 with some Teddie and a sliced banana. Another good choice.


Perhaps more amazing however was my form of a Mango Lassi.  I had some leftover mango from a failed fruit tasting table (for NNM at Simmons) so I threw about 1/2 cup in the blender with 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk and voila.


Utterly delicious. Well not exactly “utterly” since it wasn’t cows’ milk but you get the picture. Man I am just throwing out all kinds of bad jokes lately ;)

I’ve come to the conclusion though that often I will eat vegan without even realizing it. I was just conscious of the effort this week.  But in all reality if I were to give myself a label, it would be flexitarian. Most of the time I’m an ovo-lacto-pesca-vegetarian. Yeah that’s almost everything. But I do eat meat on occasion (more often when I’m at my parents house than in Boston but no big deal).

Next week I’m thinking of trying the FODMAPS approach.  It’s a diet that I’ve been seeing around the online community lately.  I’ll go into more explanation when I start it.

In other news, my first delivery from Boston Organics came yesterday!


In my parcel came apples, black radishes, beets, sunchokes, purple potatoes, onions, cabbage, celeriac, and parsnips!  With all those roots vegetables and the crazy sometimes snow/really cold weather we had yesterday, I decided the first order of business was soup.


So I made (vegan) root veggie soup. Mostly organic. Mostly local. A few extra things from the fridge thrown in there. It wasn’t that great though so I’m not including the recipe. I’ve also got like 3 containers of it in the fridge/freezer to use up. Oh boy.

And lastly, today was the Massachusetts Dietetic Association Annual Nutrition Conference and Expo – that’s ANCE! I only slept about 4 hours last night after finally deciding what to wear so I’m running on coffee and fumes right now. I went to lectures on nutrition games, school and community based intervention programs, entrepreneurship, and social media. All were fantastic! The food wasn’t that great though. I ended up with a stomach ache after lunch :(



Maybe it’s because I ended vegan week with fish and sparse vegetables coated in butter. ick.

But look how awesome we look anyway (besides the fact that it’s a blurry picture).




What’s your favorite vegan dish? I absolutely loved the couscous I made the other day and will be making that over and over from now on!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Starting “Vegan Week”

Well like I said, come Monday I was beginning my week as a vegan. So far it’s really been a almond breeze. I crack myself up! But really I’ve just been subbing Almond Breeze (vanilla not original) for milk.  Though I do miss my CHO it’s not like I eat that every day anyway so I can give it up for a few.

I went to the St. Patty’s Day parade in Southie on Sunday and took a million bad pictures. I’ll just show you one for your sake.


It wasn’t as nice out as I was hoping so I was a little cold but overall it was a fun day. I nice step back from the hours of work I had to do yesterday. Luckily I got into a groove and busted out a lot of what I needed to do.  The weeks are just counting down it seems.

To fuel myself for all that brain busting activity I had some great, vegan eats.


Looks like my typical oatmeal. Just using the Almond milk instead of cow’s milk. Tasted “muy delicioso” as my bro and SIL would say. They love to throw in random tidbits of Spanish. Funny thing is they don’t even realize they are doing it haha. Too many trips to Cancun I say ;)


Black bean/Quinoa burger with ketchup and mustard (they seemed vegan) plus sauteed asparagus


And that my friends is a Papaya Coconut Muffin. Head on over to Nicole for this tropical delight! I only altered it by leaving out the egg and butter and subbing some canola oil to make it vegan. I also heeded her suggestion and added extra papaya so they came out super moist! I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with a dry muffin so this was a definite success.

Today has been just as delicioso.


Ran out of oatmeal so used my mighty tasty hot cereal instead. I love hot cereal for breakfast. I really do.

For lunch I really wanted to use some of this whole wheat couscous that I had for a while. So I did a little search and found a recipe for Lemon Pearl Couscous with Tomato and White Beans. I modified it with what I had.



    1 1/2 cups pearl couscous (I used my whole wheat box)
    1 - 1 to 16 ounce can Navy or White Beans (All I had were Pinto)
    7.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes (I put in a whole 14.5 oz can of unsalted diced)
    1/2 large onion, chopped in to small pieces
    2 cloves garlic
    1 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, depending on your taste
    Salt, to taste
    Pepper, to taste
    1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (or plain basil, rosemary, or oregano)
    1 teaspoon garlic powder (didn’t have this. who cares)
    1 to 1 1/2 cubes vegetarian bouillon
    3 cups water
    1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil


1) In a small pot boil water with vegetarian bouillon. When the water is boiling, add pearl couscous. Cover with lid and lower heat.

2) In a separate pan, heat olive oil and begin sauteing onion and garlic. When onion is translucent and browning, add beans and tomatoes. While mixing, add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Also add about half of lemon juice. Mix until everything is cooked evenly.

3) Once the pearl couscous has cooked (no water is left in pot) mix the contents of the pan in. Add the remaining lemon juice and add more if you like the flavor.


I really enjoyed this! And even though it says that it makes 3-4 servings, I think its way more than that. I have 2 huge containers of leftovers :)

And because I wanted more veggies, I roasted up some red potatoes and carrots again. I’m digging the roasted veg lately.



And for my most exciting news to share! I couldn’t resist signing up when I stumbled upon Boston Organics.  While they aren’t technically a CSA because they will deliver produce from outside of the New England area, they do have a specific box you can sign up for that IS local, called the Dogma box. I signed up for the biweekly delivery and am super giddy about getting my first delivery on Thursday. Local and Organic. Yup :)

Back to work now, folks. Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gluten Free Week – In Review

My first week of experimentation was actually pretty hard! I just ate what I had on hand so I didn’t go out an buy any special gluten-free items. But anyway, basically every morning I had Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal which just happens to be gluten free and I had it on hand.  It’s ingredients are just whole grain brown rice, corn, sorghum, and buckwheat. So I would have that with some fruit and almond butter. A little something like this:



Those were actually frozen blueberries so I heated them up in a saucepan and they got a little syrupy.

Lunches were typically just an assortment of vegetables and fruit. I did have a little something special one day though :)


Black bean quinoa burger! I’m not 100% sure that the ketchup is gluten free but my quick review of the ingredients seemed okay.

Dinner was more vegetables and I had fish most of the nights. Like this:


But then I caved by last night. First I made popcorn which is fine but it didn’t last very long with all the people in the living room (watched Morning Glory…it was just alright) so then I was still hungry and went for the wheat thins. Gluten free week lasted 4 days…..well I was only planning on this being a Monday through Friday thing anyway so I pretty much made it! And I celebrated this morning with a whole wheat pancake teehee


Coming up next week: Vegan! I actually got some almond milk in preparation because I really don’t like to drink my coffee black or with just sugar/Truvia. I need my milk!

Oh and I took advantage of the beautiful weather at the end of this week by going out for a run. Confession – I haven’t worked out legitimately in about 2 weeks. End result? Awful run. I felt great in the beginning but around mile 3 my left knee gave out. By mile 4 my left hip started hurting and my legs felt like lead. I legit leisurely walked back the last 2 miles. Luckily it was sunny and warm out.


What bad timing. Even Misty thinks so.


G’night folks!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Diet Experiment

The other night I decided that I was going to do a little experiment. I “diet experiment” if you will.  I was thinking, how am I supposed to council people on their diet if I don’t know much about it specifically.  So for the next couple of weeks I’m going to experience some different diets myself in order to better understand what certain people have to go through.

This week: I’m going Gluten-Free.

Normally people who have Celiac disease or who have gluten intolerance should go on a gluten-free diet.  Recently however it’s become a fad diet. I’m not too happy about that but that’s another story.

Let’s get into a little background first. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.  Oats, while typically gluten-free, can sometimes have cross-contamination as well from the factories.  For people with celiac disease, gluten causes damage to the lining of the small intestine leading to malabsorption of nutrients, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting (among other symptoms).  Those with gluten intolerance usually don’t have the damage to their intestinal wall but do still experience some of these symptoms.  While there is no cure for celiac disease, it can be treated by a gluten-free diet. (Source)

So if in the future I work with someone with Celiac disease, I will know a little bit more about what they have to go through after this week!

WebMD offers a great list of have and have nots for those on a gluten-free diet.

Don't eat:
Wheat and all its forms, including semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn, and farro
Oat bran
Wheat germ
Graham, gluten, or durum flour

Do eat:
Cornmeal (polenta and tortillas)
Breads, cereals, crackers, and pasta made of corn, rice, potato, soy, arrowroot, tapioca, sago, flax, and hominy.


So I started yesterday and let me say –it was pretty tough! We have bread, english muffins, Vitamuffins, granola bars, etc all in the house and all contain gluten! But I managed.


Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Mighty Hot Cereal made with skim milk. Almond butter. Cantaloupe (I ended up only eating 1/2 of all this since it filled me up quickly!)


Stir fried veggies (red bell pepper, onion, asparagus, tomato, garlic) on top of spinach


Honey Chobani


Leftover stir fried veggies with brown rice and egg (it was supposed to be like a faux fried rice dish but it ended being more like a frittata i guess?)

On to day 2!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Naked Pizza

Yesterday I wasn’t hungry when I woke up (snacking at the movie theater late the night before) but by lunch time I was craving fresh produce. I had a heap of it! I made a huge spinach salad with strawberries and feta, though I was wishing we had goat cheese :( and on the side a whole yellow bell pepper, sliced. Hello nutrients! Didn’t I tell you the theme of the month is Eat With Color?


Afterwards I decided to have a slice of toast with almond butter and cinnamon for “dessert”. Man I do miss chocolate though LOL.



That evening, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a blogger tasting and tour over at Naked Pizza in Brighton.  I was super excited because I’ve only ever been to one other blogger meet up, but never one in Boston! We started off with a little chat about the company – they started in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to get more jobs for those who were rebuilding their lives there.  Naked pizza really wants the best for the employees and their customers!



Then we were off to tour the kitchen.  They start with a 10 grain crust, using oats, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, teff, spelt, tapioca, and two kinds of wheat, plus they add prebiotics and probiotics. Talk about good for you! No refined grain crusts here :)



After working the dough, they add their tomato sauce which only has 4 ingredients: tomatoes, water, fresh basil, and a dried herb packet. The cheese they use is also part-skim.


They’ve got all kinds of toppings. From freshly cut veggies to hormone and antibiotic free meats.  Their pepperoni is even nitrite free – so they add extra paprika to give it more red color!



Into their oven it goes. Wham bam, from working the dough until it’s put in the box takes only 7 minutes!



We enjoyed so many different varieties of pizza. Regular and thin crust. Meat and veggies.





Thank you so much Naked Pizza!



I am definitely going back here next time I want pizza :)


*Disclaimer – I was not paid for this review. I just gladly accepted the free tour and food :) *


Now I’ve got to get back to studying for my Nutritional Epidemiology midterm. EEK!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hiking at North Lake

I’m a genius. Just saying. But really, who decides that it’s okay to go hiking up in the mountains when the snow hasn’t melted and there’s been a torrential downpour all week…….this girl right here. Like I said. I’m a genius.

To fuel up I had a great big bowl of oats for brunch.


In the mix:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • cinnamon
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • spoonful of almond butter

So somehow I coerced my bestie Kelly in to going on the trip to North Lake with me (it’s in the Catskill Mountains). She had actually never been hiking before and this was definitely not the best time to bring her for her first experience. Don’t we just look thrilled to be there though?


Those were fake smiles. Well kinda. She was miserable and I was laughing hysterically the whole time because we kept falling into the snow every time we took a step. This little girl has a blast though.


Chewing sticks.


and digging.

We ended up going about a mile and a half in before calling it quits and venturing back out.  If you look close you can see the lake covered with ice still here:


I refueled in the car with a Lemon Larabar and then had a Pomegranate Chobani when I got home. Long afternoon and I was a hungry girl!

I also found a lovely box waiting for me when I walked in the door.  I won a package from The Green Nut (pistachio association) and they sent me


a bag, a couple samples of pistachios, and a cute shirt! Too bad the shirt is an XL though, it’ll have to worn for PJ’s. Thanks to the Green Nut for my goodies!

So that was yesterday, now I’m back in Boston. That’s basically all I accomplished so far today – driving 3 hours. Whoop-de-doo. Spring break is over. *tear*