Category Archives: Health

Overnight Oats

I’m not a fan of summer.  I really do hate the heat.  I’m not really living in the best city for this.  So, when it comes to food, I do not like to incorporate more heat into my life whenever I can help it.  For instance, I’ll switch from hot coffee to iced coffee.  Soups to salads.  Hot oatmeal to overnight oats.  I’m not one to brag about oatmeal, and Binks definitely won’t brag or say anything nice about oatmeal, but overnight oats is a favorite of mine and tolerated by Binks.  That’s as high a compliment oatmeal can get from my husband.

Considering that this dish is both nutritious and easy to assemble, overnight oats is hands-down a go-to breakfast in this house.  It’s easy to grab in the morning, while taking care of a busy baby.  While I have made overnight oats without yogurt and just milk, I highly recommend using yogurt as it brings the oats to a higher level of richness and flavor.  I like my oatmeal just a little thicker than drinkable yogurt, but not so set like a custard.  Add and layer with your favorite toppings.  Bananas are a must for me for sweetness.  What are your favorite toppings?

Overnight Oats

– adapted from Katheats
– Yields about 3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup milk (any type of milk you want)
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt (I prefer Greek yogurt)*
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp sweetener (honey, sugar, brown sugar, Stevia, etc.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight.  Serve cold the next morning.  Top with your desired garnishes.
*If you use unsweetened yogurt, feel free to add more sweetener with a tsp of vanilla extract.
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7 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Health, Vegetarian

I’m Back!

It seems that ever since the pancake crisis, that I have been MIA.  I have.  Work has been dreadfully busy!  With 8 depositions under my belt in the past 2 weeks and 5 more to go for the next two weeks, I’ve been a bit pre-occupied.

I finally found some room to breathe this weekend.  Although yesterday seemed like another repeat of last.  I attempted to attempt a new recipe on a Saturday morning – for none other than pancakes.  And I need to do a bit more research on cooking with coconut flour because this was a solid disaster.  Curse words were spoken and Binks went into hiding.  By now the time was 11:45 a.m., (you don’t even want to know when I started this pancake experiment) and I even knew to call in the towel.  We went to Chipotle for lunch.  (Side note:  Chipotle really does offer a variety of diet-eating-style friendly foods – go Chipotle!)

I spent all of yesterday at consignment shops.  Got pretty good deals, got mildly ripped off with a fake (but still cute) faux-Chanel sunglasses, and found the mirror my fireplace mantle was looking for.  I fully intend on letting you in with a home improvement post coming soon.  Shopping wore me out!

Now, when Sunday morning came, we knew we couldn’t go out to eat again.  So, I tried pancakes for the third time.  And, alas – the heavens opened and I’m sure some birds came down and sang.  Because for all the discouragement during the previous times and the mindless, useless yelling at Binks, we finally have SUCCESS!!

Success to call my own, in fact.

Whole wheat, low sugar pancakes.  Heck yeah!

Holy moly were these good.  I was borderline on the throwing-a-fit side as they were browner than I prefer, but with a tastes-great recipe and a pancake that looks like a pancake instead of mush or scrambled pancakes, I was more relieved than anything.

Served with a slice of pineapple.  I went fruit shopping yesterday at Tom Thumb.  Usually I am opposed to buying pre-cut fruit because I think I could do it myself and I refuse to pay for labor.  But, with pineapples (for me) it’s different.  Binks usually cuts them and it’s so difficult and we hack at it so much that we have less than 1/3 of the fruit left.  For just a little more, I saved myself some time and some sanity and maybe some fingers and bought pre-cut slices.  And it was organic – all for $3.99 – go Tom Thumb (or Randalls – depending on where you live)!

Meet one of my new favorite foodie finds.  I always see this when I go to Ikea but I finally bought it when I realized the amount of sugar in this jam is significantly lower than almost all other preserves and jams I have seen.  And, one teaspoon goes a long way for the pancakes!

Sometimes, you are hit with a lot of failures when you try, but eventually you’ll get it and it will be great.  And, by then you’ll appreciate it that much more.  That’s as deep as I can get over pancakes.  🙂

Whole Wheat, Low Sugar Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 2 flax, chia, or egg eggs
Directions
  1. Mix vanilla, agave nectar, coconut oil, yogurt, almond milk and chia egg.
  2. Add in flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Mix to combine.
  4. The mixture might be a bit thicker than your usual pancake batter.  If you want, you can add more almond milk, 1 tbsp at a time.
  5. Cook over medium heat on non-stick pan.
How have you been?  What’s something you’re working on fixing these days?  Ever learn important lessons from cooking?  Or something random?  Do you buy Ikea food?  Do you buy pre-cut fruit?

9 Comments

Filed under Health, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

The Glycerides

Well, if a busy month ahead, pregnancy and the like weren’t enough to keep us busy, turns out after a visit to the doctor, Binks has high cholesterol and unbelievably high triglycerides.  For the sake of complete honesty, his triglyceride levels are 1000 +.  Let’s just say when I saw the number, I freaked beyond belief.  Just to put it into perspective, “Very High” is 500+Oy.

High triglycerides is different from high cholesterol.  Namely, the doctor said it’s from a diet high in carbs and not enough protein.  It made sense in every way.  We had cut down our meat intake drastically and I have been replacing it with carbs – and not all good carbs. And, I suppose it didn’t help that prior to his blood test, we went to a party at a friend’s house wherein Binks had a good amount of sangria – and by a good amount, I bet at least 2 pitchers worth.  He kept screaming it tastes like juice! LOL!!

In an attempt to attack this naturally instead of going on medicine, we told the doctor we will do what we can at the house with diet and exercise and come back and get retested.  So, for the past week, we have had a serious food lifestyle change in the house.

The changes include:

–  No alcohol.  Which is not a big deal because (despite the above reference) we do not drink often.  I would say twice a month.

–  No beef, chicken, or pork.  We eat fish, tofu, beans and other forms of heart healthy protein.

–  No refined sugars or flours or products made from the same.  Any candies, cookies or cakes have been substituted with limited amounts of fresh and dry fruit.  And, even with the fresh fruit, we pay attention to the glycemic index in certain fruits.

–  Vegetables and more vegetables.  For lunch and dinner, I include veggies in whatever way possible.  Salads, steamed veggies, and Indian food is a great option for us.

–  Exercise every day.  And, for him – walking is not counted.  He has to do more.  So, every day, we have been walking after every meal as a warm up and then starting our exercise routine.  He’s continuing his P90X.

–  Eating out limitations.  Sometimes you just want the cheapest option – i.e. fast food.  And, sometimes you want the most indulgent options – i.e. fried chicken (did I mention I’m in love), pasta, etc.  However, lately we have limited our eating out to places that offer healthy options and cuisine.  It’s not hard considering that we love Mediterranean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, etc.

–  No processed foods.  Sometimes heating up a Lean Cuisine is easier than packing lunch.  No longer.

So what have we been eating?

Salads made from the mutant Persian cucumbers growing in our garden.  I love these cucumbers because the skin is not as bitter as the traditional cucumber.  It goes wonderfully with some sliced red onions, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Refreshing!

Smoothies as always

No sugar and topped with Cheerios, which the doctor recommended.  Inside contains almond meal, coconut, blueberries, 1/4 of a frozen banana (as they are higher in sugar compared to other fruit), and almond milk.

Fish and no refined breads.

This was excellent.  Fish was perfect.  Salad – I have had it for many days now and don’t see any stop to it in the near future.

While I am craving this meal every day, I have to pace myself with the fish.

Blackened Tilapia

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound tilapia fillet
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Spice Mix

  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black ground pepper (if you have white pepper, you can sub half of the black pepper for that)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Directions

  1. Mix together the spice mix.
  2. Spread onto the tilapia fillet.  I let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Heat pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Add olive oil and wait for pan to get really hot.
  5. Cook each side for 3 minutes each.

Salad – The salad really is a mix of romaine, tomatoes, red onion, banana peppers, and a sprinkling of feta cheese.  The dressing is a mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, italian seasoning, lemon juice and dijon mustard.  I’m in love.

NOTE:  From my stereotype of what a high-cholesterol person ‘looks’ like, Binks didn’t fit the mark.  He is not overweight.  He doesn’t drink often.  He exercises fairly regularly.  He doesn’t eat a lot of meat.  You would not think that such a person would have such a high triglyceride level.  (This is in stark contrast to my dad who does have high cholesterol and triglycerides.  He is overweight, doesn’t eat well (high on meat and refined carbs like rice), drinks often, and gets no exercise.)

Partly, the high triglycerides is common in Bink’s family and the eating style hasn’t helped.  After making the changes for the past week, Binks has already lost 5 pounds (which was not something he was looking for), and we hope that the changes will give us better blood test results in about 3 months when he gets tested again!

Any experience with high cholesterol or high triglycerides? 

12 Comments

Filed under Health, Life, olive oil, Uncategorized

Behind the Beginning Scenes

So, if you have been reading, you all probably know that I have discovered that I am carrying around a little lemon, which has now turned into an apple.

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Binks and I are super excited about new development.  I have been really excited because I finally got to share it with you.  You have no idea how much I wanted to tell you as soon as I found out – at 6 weeks.  However, I really did want to wait until the time was just right and I felt a bit secure in the pregnancy to reveal this wonderful news.

What did we do when we first found out?  We went to grab breakfast.  What did I get?  Lunch.

Then, as it turns out, you’re not supposed to have cold lunch meat.  Crap.

We told our parents at 10 weeks – on Mother’s Day weekend – right before San Francisco.  We did it for two reasons – one obvious, one delirious.

Obvious:  Mother’s Day turns out to be Binks’ dad’s birthday so it was perfect.  We got Happy Birthday Grandpa (we got one for my dad too as we didn’t want him to be card-less) and Happy Mother’s Day, Grandma for both moms.  Needless to say everyone took the cards and just put it on the table.  This is what happens when you give things to people in the middle of eating.  Second, my mom thought I was joking like usual and calling her old.  Third, it took my dad to thoroughly read his card and my sister to squeal reading over my MIL’s card.  Finally!  And, then I started crying – like a damn fool.  🙂

Delirious:  This would be the first grandchild on both sides.  Aka – the parents go nuts.  I can’t handle that.  Hence, two days after we told them, we hitched a ride to California and didn’t have to face the news until we came back!   By then, the family has already self-implode with the excitement.  🙂  I came back to calmness and logical questions.

Can I tell you?  No morning sickness.  You heard right.  Just a bout of nausea at first, which was what prompted me to initially take the pregnancy test.

It seems like I was meant to have this baby.  I mean, I don’t have these wide birthing hips for nothing.

13 Comments

Filed under Health, Life, Pregnancy

The Munchies

I have been attempting to make a conscious effort to eat more snacks throughout the day.

I’m generally a three square meals per day person.  I typically (while working) wait until I get hungry and then I eat – ravenously.  ‘Tis not a good thing, my friends.  ‘Tis really not.

So, I made a Central Market run.  Let’s just say I picked up some newbies along with my usuals.

That is my office desk – well a portion of it.  Is it usually covered in food?  Considering I live walking distance to Whole Foods, and made a much-needed Central Market run after paying off taxes yesterday (yikes!), I like to gather the goods and inspect my inventory.

The usuals (not pictured): heirloom oranges, bananas, and grapefruit.  I have been on a citrus kick lately.  Hellooo summer!

I have heard about Justin’s nut butters all over the blog world and finally purchased some.  I have to admit that I’m saving these (I have two more packs) for my San Fran to San Diego trip in May.  Again, after paying taxes yesterday (yikes!), I figured I need to cut down on the eating out costs at home and on vacation and pack some healthy snacks.

Have you bought Justin’s nut butters for an on-the-go snack?  How do you eat it?

Now, if you’ve been through Central Market, you would likely hear the constant popping as you turn the bulk section and come to the dairy aisle.  Have you seen this?  It’s magnificent.

Binks is in love with this.  It’s crunch, it’s light and it pretty much can hold any topping.  Binks also asked the rep behind the machine how much the machine costs and how cool it would be to have one in the house.  I just stood there watching this disaster occur – while eating my sample of Magic Pop with Biscoff  Spread.

Which leads me to the main attraction.


I have coveted the original Biscoff cookie since I had it on a Delta flight once.  Then, I found out about the spread.  It’s been a Biscoff whirlwind in my life.

While I have saved several recipes and made modifications in an attempt to make my own Biscoff cookie and then the Spread, I gave up – for now.  I bought a jar.

And it’s been glorious.

Have you tried Biscoff?  How do you eat it?  Do you love it?  What are some healthy office snacks you keep around?  Are you a snacker or a 3-meals-a-day person? 

29 Comments

Filed under Favorites, Health, Life, Vegetarian

Life After Cleanse

Since the juice cleanse, I have been trying to keep up with the SCD Diet.  It’s definitely hard as I’m not used to scrutinizing everything I eat.  And, it may come as a surprise that giving up bread is really hard.  I don’t miss the cookies and cakes as much as bread, pasta and rice.

My skin has stayed about the same – a little more inflamed since the fast but not as bad as it was before at all.

So what have I been eating?

If you read Joy The Baker’s blog, you know that she did the Blue Print Cleanse and after, she made a vegan cream of mushroom soup.

I followed suit.  Because if it’s one thing I’ve learned is that for good food – do what Joy does.

There is nothing seemingly vegan about this soup.  It’s rich and most of all – creamy.

This was my first time experimenting with cashew cream and I am hooked for LIFE!  Mind you, I’m not a soup person.  I will push aside any bowl of soup for a salad monster or a sandwich.  But, this soup takes the no-grain-no-sugar-no-flour cake.

And it seems like lately my life meals aren’t complete without an apple (I’ve turned into Dorry) and some sauteed spinach.

More news – my life hasn’t been on pause lately.  I’m going to do the hydrogen breath test.  If it is SIBO, I am likely going to start taking Rifaximin (Xifaxan) to see if this can be cured/helped.  I will keep you all updated.

If you or any loved ones deal with any type of stomach, intestinal, or internal problems, you have to know that a lot of damage has been done by the past.  So, time is necessary to heal what has been broken.

Be good to your insides and I have faith that you will glow on the outside.

What do you eat on a daily basis?  Do you believe in the apple-a-day theory/rule?  How are you good to your physical or emotional insides?

9 Comments

Filed under Health, Life, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

Day 4 + Decision

It’s day four of the juice cleanse/fast and I see a little difference.  Do you?

The redness and bumps have subsided a bit – not by much.

Now, the concern is what to do after.  I received a lot of helpful advice from so many of you about eating styles to follow after the fast.  Almost every suggestion said gluten-free, dairy-free and slow on the meat.  After extensive research (I mean it’s all I had when I don’t have food), I have decided to do the specific carbohydrate diet.

Have you heard of it?

It’s not really a diet as it requires a lifestyle change.  I think the “diet” that I can compare it to the most is the Paleo diet.

A dermatologist told me that a probable cause of my face being this way is an overgrowth of bacteria in my stomach – hence the numerous prescriptions of antibiotics I was given to kill that bacteria.  Bacteria feed on sugars.  The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) eliminates refined sugars, starches, and grains from the diet (and pretty much all processed foods).

The theory is that because the bacteria feed off of the sugars from the above, the bacteria multiply.  In essence the SCD is supposed to starve out the bacteria.

There is an extensive illegal/legal eating list.  The SCD does allow  meats (unprocessed), eggs, cheese and butter.  But, I think I’m going to hold off on incorporating those back and in and start slowly.

The diet seems appropriate because my face over the last 6 months has taken a turn for the absolute worse.  And about 6 months ago was when I substantially increased the grains.  I don’t know – just a hypothesis at this point.  But, it’s worth a try.

What this means to me?

–  No breads (no sandwiches).

–  No oats, no buckwheat, no rice.

–  No chickpeas/garbanzo beans (no hummus).

–  No candy/cookies/cake/etc.

–  No quick meals (i.e. fast food, Boca burgers, etc.)

–  More salads.

–  More soups.

–  More whole foods (fruits, veggies, over-time lean meats).

–  More opportunities to experiment with different recipes.

I think it’s worth an effort and I’ll track my process and eating habits along the way.

Have you heard of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet?  Ever tried it?  Did it help?  Have you tried the Paleo diet?  Have you given up bread?  How did it go?

There is still time to enter my Love Grown Foods giveaway!  Do it to it.

23 Comments

Filed under Health, Life, Uncategorized