Archive for ‘Food’

May 16, 2012

Cleansing: Yay or Nay?

So I did my third cleanse last week. I’ve always had mixed feelings about the whole cleansing thing. I’ve heard about celebrities doing cleanses before big events, seen people do a juice cleanse for the new year, and I’ve even seen people do the lemon/honey/cayenne pepper cleanse. I always thought it was so silly, but I try not to judge anymore since I really believe that one can do whatever they want if it works for them.

Let’s rewind to why I did my first cleanse. I was killing it last year with meeting my goals, but I started to get worried after my birthday (Nov. 27) since I knew December was going to be tough with a weekend in NYC to eat, holiday parties, etc. I realized that I only had a span of 3 days where I didn’t have something going on, so I wanted to take advantage of it and be healthy. I wasn’t trying to lose 10 pounds in 3 days. All I wanted was to feel healthy and in control, because we all know how out of control we get during the holidays. I had Jared do some research and we decided to do 90% raw, fish for a good lean source of protein, and avoiding dairy, meat, and processed foods. A typical day is as follows:

6am: Juice (carrot, celery, apple, beet, ginger, kale)
9am: 2 tbsp Justin’s nut butter and celery (nut butter to keep my calorie intake up)
12pm: Juice and small meal (approximately 100 calories of tuna salad)
3pm: 2 tbsp Justin’s nut butter and celery
5pm: Juice
7pm: Dinner (large portion of vegetarian chili)
8pm: Dessert (1/2 brownie from Raw)

Below is a pic of the vegetarian chili (beans, corn, beets, broccoli, cilantro, zucchini, kale)

I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick with only juice since I just love eating way too much, so we picked something that was doable for me. Surprisingly, the juice is extremely filling and I’m able to do a normal workout just fine. I find myself a little hungry on the first day, but after that it’s super easy. The hardest part is telling people why you won’t go out for dinner or have that free cookie at work. Ok I lied, it’s also hard to give up my daily desserts (sugar free pudding, single piece of dark chocolate), so Jared was nice enough to check out Raw, a raw foods place in the market near us. I’ve had their tiramisu, brownie, and lemon bar. You’d be surprised how tasty they are. I’m going to recreate the lemon bar sometime soon.

So there you have it. I say yay to the cleanse! I did a 3 day cleanse in December, 5 day cleanse in January, and another 5 day cleanse last week. I find that it’s helpful every few months just to get me back on track.

August 31, 2011

next restaurant

1st Course: First course started off with a bunch of tastings; roasted banana, prawn cake, sweet shrimp, fermented sausage, and steamed bun. They were all 1-2 bites and very delicious. I loved them all, but if I had to pick one favorite I think it would be the prawn cake. It was like a crispy hash brown but with shrimp. I’d love to eat it with a poached egg.

2nd Course: For the second course a large grill was brought over that had a strawberry, chicken heart, and squid on skewers. I was a little nervous about the chicken heart, but it ended up being my favorite of the three. I’m still not a fan of squid, but when you’re eating at Grant Achatz’s new restaurant you better just give everything a shot.

3rd Course: Crab and green papaya salad with peanut chili. Everyone absolutely loved this course, but it was a tab bit spicy. Ok, super spicy. Jared was sweating like crazy and Katie couldn’t finish it, but we all agreed it tasted awesome.

4th Course: Pad Thai. I know what you’re thinking, how lame, anyone can make pad thai, but this pad thai was different. It wasn’t a dense dish of noodles with a ball of carrots and crushed nuts on top. It was a lighter, fresher, and much appreciated version by all at the table.

5th Course: The fifth couse was a tom yum soup with big pieces of pork belly. It was simple and tasty. You can’t go wrong with pork belly. I would have liked to see a few more veggies though.

6th Course: I knew a few people that have been to the Thailand menu so I asked them if I should go easy on a course or two so I can be sure to get through the whole meal. I asked this because during the Paris 1906 menu we were given mini rolls mid meal and I had a couple right before the 2 largest dishes, the lamb and duck. I also swore I liked lamb better so I housed that dish and sadly realized the duck was better and couldn’t eat as much as I would have liked. This time I was warned about the white rice course. It came with a variety of sauces so you could have easily gotten carried away. I kept my rice portion small, sampled all sauces, and then picked my favs and ate a little bit more. One of my favorites was the salted duck egg with green mango and white radish.

7th Course: Next dish up was the wild catfish braised in caramel sauce with celery and coriander root. It was a nice light fish. I wouldn’t say anything special, so I ended up putting a little bit of one of my fav sauces on it.

8th Course: The next dish was the best one of the night – braised beef cheek in a curry of peanut, nutmeg, coconut, and lemongrass. OMG the meat was so tender and fell right apart. The sauce had the perfect amount of spice. Wow, just wow. I wasn’t super full after this dish so I had a little more rice to mop up the rest of the sauce. I couldn’t leave a single bite of this dish on the plate.

By the way, not sure if you can tell but we were so excited about this course that we forgot to take a pic so it’s a little messy looking.

9th Course: Clear juice of watermelon and lemongrass. I wasn’t the biggest fan, but it’s because it reminded me of the cucumber vodka drink I had too much of recently. My fault, not Grant’s.

10th Course: This course I was sort of dreading. I mean it was coconut, corn, egg, and licorice with a side of iced coconut. It didn’t sound appealing to me since I absolutely hate most things coconut. Sometimes I get luckily though and I don’t think things taste like coconut and this was one of those times. This dessert was a-m-a-z-i-n-g! I definitely could have had 10 more, at least!!

11th Course: Last dessert course was dragon fruit. It was good, but I like to end my meals with something chocolatey. I would have preferred ending with the chocolate souffle from the Paris 1906 menu.

The dragon fruit also came with a rose. The instructions were to smell the rose while you eat the dragon fruit and you’ll taste less of the rose flavor in the dish, weird right? We all got a kick out of Adi trying to smell and eat at the same time. It was very difficult.

And finally we ended our dinner with tea in a bag. Very tasty!

Another amazing experience with amazing foodie friends at Next Restaurant. We think there was a small hint during the last course, it reminded Grant of his childhood and I’ve recently read that could be the next theme. We’re all very excited for next time already!

Since the meal was so light and no one was stuffed we decided to go next door and check out Aviary. I’ll post about it soon!

August 24, 2011

excellent wednesday

I wake up almost every single day and say “I don’t want to get out of bed, it’s just so comfy” (in a whiny voice of course) and Jared responds with “I knowww.” My first thought is I just want to stay here all day and I definitely do not want to workout. Sometimes I really do wish I was a morning person and many people even think I am since I workout almost every morning. I just hate working out in the evening a lot more than in the morning. This morning was no exception. I got to my 7am body strength class and flopped around for a couple minutes during the warm up and then as always we jump right into lunges. I hate it, and I hate it, and I hate it some more, and then I check the time and OMG it’s already 7:20. Ok, it isn’t so bad. I start to change my attitude and think damn I’m workin it and defining that line on my leg even more. By the time 8am rolled around I started thinking maybe I should come back for a 5:30pm class. That hardly ever happens, but at least I’m finally having positive thoughts about working out. I love that good feeling after a workout and forgetting about all of those miserable thoughts from 6:05-7:05am.

By 8:45am I started to get hungry again and got excited about my morning snack. It’s typically cottage cheese, but I ran out so I’ve been eating half a container of Fage yogurt with 1 tablespoon of nut butter. That snack is like dessert. It reminds me of my mom’s peanut butter pie filling.

Lunch was a new salad – approximately 195 calories (1.4g fat, 9.4g carbs, 36.4g protein)
5 ounces ground turkey
2 tablespoons fat free chunky blue cheese dressing
1/3 cup broccoli slaw
1 cup spinach

I think this is my new favorite and will stick to it for a few weeks. I like to keep things simple and tasty so I don’t mind eating the same thing every day for lunch. It is a little lower calorie than my typical lunches around 250 calories, but my morning and afternoon snacks have been a little higher than usual since I’ve been loving the greek yogurt and nut butter combination.

Tonight we’re having friends over to grill. I love dinner parties! We’re keeping it healthy with grilled chicken, grilled veggies, salad, and fruit for dessert. Of course there will be wine and I’ll be trying to keep it under 10 ounces. I’ve been getting better. Check out my table set up, I got a new centerpiece and shell napkin rings for the summer.

August 23, 2011

such a sous chef

This year Jared decided to get a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share delivered to our house. It’s a weekly box containing the best of what’s in season from a local farm. We’ve received a TON of potatoes in the last couple weeks, which don’t really mesh well with my healthy lifestyle. Instead of letting the potatoes go bad I had the brilliant idea of making gnocchi and freezing it all (I know what you’re thinking and I know I’m not the chef of the household). I only had this idea, because Jared makes an amazing gnocchi and we have previously froze the leftovers. The entire process took around 5 hours, luckily half of that was baking the potatoes and letting them cool. We used Jonathan Waxman’s recipe, but we will most likely explore his butternut squash creation for the final product. Here’s how we made it and I do mean we, I was quite the sous chef:

1. Bake the potatoes at 400 for 1 hour

2. Peel potatoes

3. Mash the potatoes

4. Create the dough

5. Roll out the dough

6. Cut the dough and you have gnocchi!

Unfortunately, my meal plans until Napa do not accommodate gnocchi, but we will have it sometime in September or October. A dinner party with a couple types of pasta and a large bottle of wine is in the works.

Tags: ,
August 18, 2011

wine, cheese, and friends

3 of my most favorite things. Last night I hosted girls night with a cheese plate and wine. I know this isn’t the healthiest option, but I planned for it. I also thought about having bread and olive oil, but decided I didn’t want all of those carbs (sure enough someone else brought it and I helped myself to 3 pieces, oh well). I did four cheese pairings:

1. Cheddar with apple
2. Honey goat with crackers
3. Blue with dried figs (would have preferred fresh fig, but couldn’t find any)
4. Black truffle with the option of honey (doesn’t really need anything extra)

To plan for this meal I only had 3 ounces of ground turkey instead of my usual 4 in my taco salad, a difference of 40 calories. I also had cottage cheese as my afternoon snack. My Breakstone Live Active cottage cheese has 10g of protein and only 90 calories. Lately my afternoon snack has been a bagel thin with peanut butter, a total of 9g of protein and 210 calories. The bagel thin and peanut butter is kind of a splurge snack since I know I shouldn’t have the carbs, but I’m always looking for a reason to eat nut butter. I only eat it when I know that I can definitely be within my 1300 calories/day. So with the cottage cheese I get a low cal snack and tons of protein to hold me over until wine and cheese time!

As you can see I technically only cut back 150 calories, but being able to add that little bit to my fun dinner is super helpful. I know that I have previously tried not to eat a ton before heavy calorie intake, but that doesn’t do me any good. I end up eating even more once it’s in front of me. Using this technique I’m able to enjoy myself and not go overboard. I try not to get too crazy with my splurges Mon-Thur.