Whole 30 Week 4 and Workouts

img_0709

A few nights ago I dreamt of a cupcake. I was holding it, looking it up and down, assessing every inch of its deliciousness. It was not your conventional store bought cupcake, oh no. It was a perfectly baked, moist, treat. The flavor was simple, a vanilla cake with what I can only imagine to be cream cheese frosting. My eyes devoured it while my mind started to express the guilt I would feel for eating it, for breaking the Whole 30 rules. I took that first bite and the sugary goodness melted over me like being hit with a ray of sunshine on a summer day. Then I woke up.

A couple of nights later it happened again. This time not with a cupcake, but with alcohol. Whiskey to be precise. A beautiful cocktail in a stemmed glass. I swirled the liquid around, bringing my nose right to the top and smelling all it had to offer. The moral and mental battle raged on again before ultimately the first sip was taken. The warm liquid moved down through my body warming me up from the inside out. I felt calm, relaxed, and happy. Then I woke up.

Now I am not one to dream about food, especially foods I almost never partake in. Maybe once or twice a year I indulge in a cupcake or a whiskey cocktail, but neither are high on my can’t live without list. Which made it that much more interesting to see these treats pop up into my sub concise. My best guess for interpretation is after 28 days of nothing but pure obedience to the rules, my mind feels it is either tired of being so strict or maybe it feels it deserves a reward. Either way I am on the home stretch with 28 days complete and 3 more to go. Right now I am still debating if I want to continue on after the 31 days or start the re-introduction of foods instead. Most likely I will just keep going until something so amazing and tempting comes across my plate I can’t say no.

This week I had the pleasure of actually going to see Melissa Hartwig, the founder of the Whole 30 speak at a book signing. It couldn’t have been better timing since starting the program I have become slightly infatuated with her. It was on Thursday night up in Marin County, a pretty short 25 minute drive from my house over the Golden Gate Bridge. Ideally I would have had a partner in crime to go with me, but it wasn’t in the cards so a solo adventure it became.

img_0707

One of my favorite pastimes is seeing authors speak. I love to hear them describe their work, their passion. Hearing them describe how they came about the eloquent words they spent hours typing. I love the questions the audience asks and seeing how quickly they are able to gather their thoughts to respond back. (Which from personal experience is a pretty nerve racking endeavor.) I ended up being more then pleasantly surprised with Melissa, I was flat out impressed. She was fluid with her thoughts, personable with a happy demeanor, smart, candid, and relatable. After almost an hour of talking and Q&A I waited inline for longer then I should have to get my book signed by her and the other author at the event, Danielle Walker from Against the Grain. What ended up being my huge disappointment of the evening? Asking the stranger behind me to take a photo of us. Is it that hard to get someones whole head in a shot? It was a smart phone, not a complex point and shoot. Oh well, if that was my biggest annoyance of the week it was a good week.

Here is to the last 3 days, hopefully the food dreams will start to calm down. Its making it hard to stay on track!

Workouts:

Sunday: 60 Minute Barre Class at The Dailey Method

Monday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok

Tuesday: 60 minute Barre Class at The Dailey Method, 30 minute strength training at gym

Wednesday: 65 minute Spinning Class at Body Rok, 20 minutes of  strength training at gym. Technically class was only 45 minutes but I stayed on the bike a bit longer

Thursday: 60 minute Burn Class (mix of weights, cardio, and pilates board)

Friday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok. I was looking forward to this class all week! Not only was it taught by my favorite instructor in SF, but it was also an 80’s themed ride!

Saturday: 46 minute 7.10 mile run

Whole 30 Week 3 and Workouts

 

img_0700

Wow, I cant believe I am 21 days into my Whole 30. This week was pretty much on cruise control, thank god! Since I was home from traveling I was able to cook  and prep most of my meals, which makes a huge difference. Typically I like to do most of my meal prep for the week on Sundays. It is a life saver to make a big dish so I have something to eat for lunch throughout the week. This past weekend I ended up having lots of time with friends, so my Sunday routine was thrown off. This meant I had to do more cooking at home after work when all I wanted to do was sit and un wind. My other saving grace this week was Whole Foods Hot Bar. It has saved me when I didn’t get my usual veggies roasted and I needed to grab some quick to add to a salad. My only complaint with Whole Foods is they use a lot of Canola Oil in their food, which technically is complaint in the Whole 30, but not encouraged. Oh well, a girl has to make sacrifices and for me that was it.

So what should I be feeling 21 days in? In reading the Whole 30 guidelines by this time I should be in the stage they call Tiger Blood. What is Tiger Blood you ask? Well according to their website it was a phrase they took from the actor Charlie Sheen (which who knows what he was using it for) and then attached their own definition to it. Essentially Tiger Blood is the part of the program where you are passed the biggest hurdles, i.e. the cravings and “hangover” part. From the website, “Your energy is through the roof, you’ve kicked the cravings, you’re experimenting with new, delicious food, and you’ve finally got the time to notice that your clothes fit better, your workouts are stronger, and you are generally more awesome.”

For myself it is not this dramatic transformation I anticipated. However there are definitely some noticeable differences. I would say if you are not looking for them, it could be easy to miss. Let’s start with the more noticeable ones. First my carvings for non Whole 30 Foods is pretty low or non-existent. I dont have any urge right now for anything processed, sugary, bread/grain like, or even alcohol. Which if you know me a glass of wine, bread, and cheese plate are my 3 essentials if I would be trapped on a desert island.  I was also really nervous about not drinking for a month due to the social impact. Instead I have been trying to spend more time with friends outside of happy hour. This has lead to many a coffee, breakfast, or workout class dates. It is a friendly reminder are friends love us regardless of what we put in our mouths.

Next and probably the most impactful is I am sleeping sooooooooo much more soundly. If you can relate, there is nothing worse then waking up all throughout the night. You wake up feeling almost as bad as if you had gone to bed at 2:00am. So to be able to get a full nights sleep night after night is incredible. Just to be fair though, we also did just buy a new King Bed around the same time this started, so that may have something to do with it as well.

My pants are fitting better. This was something I noticed after the first round I did of Whole 30 back in December and was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to continue the program. After years of practically starving myself I just can’t ever go back to that place. So it is nice to feel like I am not depriving myself of any food and I am still able to see an impact. I have also had some other things I started around December 1st that could be attributing, but regardless of what it is I will take it.  I am not sure what this equates to weight wise as we are not allowed to weigh ourselves on the program, which is fine by me as I broke up with my scale over a year and a half ago and have never looked back!

Lastly and the least noticeable is my energy. I wear a fit bit everyday and track my steps. Since starting the Whole 30 I have noticed without even trying I have added an extra 2-4k steps a day. This is huge if you really think about it as it is an extra 1-2 miles a day. Without trying my body has just wanted to move more. I have also found I have energy to do more “life” stuff like go through my closet, pay bills, cook, get together with friends, etc.  If I had not been paying really close attention to this one I may have completely over looked it.

To summarize, I may not be Tiger Blood yet, but I am seeing the Eye of the Tiger for sure.  One week left to go, although I am not going to lie, I might just keep this party going as long as I can. It feels good to feel good, you know?

Workouts:

Sunday: 60 Minute Barre Class at the Bar Method

Monday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok

Tuesday: 50 minute Barre Class at Mint Studio, 26 minute 4.15 mile run

Wednesday: 50 minute Spinning Class at Core 40

Thursday: 60 minute training session with personal trainer. Lots of legs and arms! Could hardly walk the next day

Friday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok

Saturday: 33 minute 5.15 mile run, 60 minute Barre Class at Pop Physique

A Week of Food In Greece

I have been sitting here for a while thinking about how I would best showcase all of the amazing food I ate while in Greece. I could post each picture, each memory, with a detailed description of the meal from the first step into the restaurant to when I was so satisfied I was in a state of euphoria. I could go into detail about the ambiance in the restaurant, the presentation of each dish, the taste of the first delicate bite which you can never replicate no matter how many more bites you take. I could talk about the tips and tricks I took when ordering to try and stay healthy, how I watched my portions, while still trying every last thing I wanted. Ultimately I decided pictures speak louder then words. This is by no means every meal I ate on the trip, however it is some of the more memorable ones.

BREAKFAST

IMG_1291

As we know I am obsessed with yogurt. Whenever a restaurant or cafe had yogurt as an option it was a mindless decision on what I would be ordering. This breakfast was by far one of my favorite’s on the trip. Creamy, smooth, and an amazing collection of fruit. It hit the spot.

IMG_1006

 I love little treats, so I knew I was going to fall in love with Greece when every time I ordered a beverage I received a goody. On this day it was a little cookie with my morning coffee. Nothing like a little sugar to start your day.

IMG_1383

Just another amazing fruit and yogurt breakfast. This one came with a little treat of baked goods. I sampled a small bite of each. So good!

IMG_1009

 This was my only morning having eggs for breakfast. Dustin and I walked almost 2 miles to get to this cozy cafe recommended by our Air BnB host. The ambiance of this place was amazing just like their food.

LUNCH

IMG_1008

Over the entire trip we did not end up eating a lot of lunches. Instead we would eat a larger breakfast and an even larger dinner. Then we would typically split something as a snack throughout the day or enjoy a treat with our beverage order. Here is just one example of a beautiful salad we shared. The fresh citrus with the greens hit the spot.

IMG_0984

This was by far one of our favorite meals on the entire trip! Nothing like a big plate of gyro meat, pita, and onions after a morning run and walking. The meat just melted in your mouth.

IMG_1064

Stopping by a street vendor one day to share a pork kabob in a bun with ketchup and mustard. This is the Greek take on a hot dog, but way better.

IMG_1306

Overlooking the ocean we enjoyed a fresh crab salad for lunch. This place was recommended by my yoga teacher as one of her favorite places to eat in Santorini. We loved trying to eat only where the locals ate throughout the trip. I cant even put into words how refreshing this meal was.

IMG_1147

One day we took the bus to a little town Peza in Crete to do some wine tasting. Although the wine tasting was dismal at best, our highlight of the day was finding this local spot for lunch. Workers were on their lunch break ordering meat on a stick accompanied by bread and ketchup. We also stopped by a little market vendor to pick up some fresh strawberries and grapes to eat with it.

SNACKS

IMG_1140

Again I love how in Greece your beverages always come with a snack. When ordering wine fruit was paired, nuts or chips was common with beer, and a small baked treat with coffee. There were many afternoons where this snack and drink would hold us over till dinner.

IMG_1429

With every meal we ordered we received bread. For me this was heaven and hell since I love bread, but I also have little to no self control with it. However once I learned I would be getting bread with every meal it made me stop, pause, and eat only the bread I truly loved. If it was not amazing I knew another loaf would not be to far away.

IMG_1319

Wine tasting with cheese, olives, bread bites, and a tomato dip. A perfect afternoon in my opinion.

DINNER

IMG_1141

We wanted to make sure we got at least one very traditional Greek meal in. This was a platter of all of the different mezzes we are accustomed to in the states. The difference from back home to Greece is obviously the taste. There is really no comparison.

IMG_1023

This was my favorite greek salad on the trip. The produce was so fresh, it was swimming in olive oil, perfectly baked croutons, and cheese that melted in your mouth. The portion was huge and came in a giant wooden bowl. I could eat this salad every day for the rest of my life and be happy. It was that good.

IMG_1037

At the same restaurant as the best greek salad of my life was this amazing lamb dish. It was served with smoking sage rising and twisting it’s way up engulfing every last ounce. The presentation would have been enough, but yes the food tasted just as good as it appeared.

IMG_1083

I have never been one to eat anchovies, however Dustin loves them. We ordered this dish at the pier and although I was not looking forward to it as much as others I ended up loving it. The fish were salty and perfect. The olive oil and onions just made all of the flavors come together.

IMG_1430

Another amazing traditional greek salad. This one had a balsamic glaze on top. We paired it with the dish below.

IMG_1432

Our last meal on the trip. This was a pork dish in a sweet glaze. Tasty, but not my favorite on the trip. What made this meal so memorable though was the view we had while enjoying it. We were in Santorini watching the sunset as we finished off our last bite. A perfect date to end an unforgettable trip.

Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein Recipe

 

IMG_0837

Life has just been busy lately! After a new and exciting promotion at work my days are now all consuming with very little time to rest. Then my evenings have been packed with fun events like birthday celebrations, concerts, yoga dates, etc. What does all of this mean? Well my nights have not been filled with cooking robust meals. It has been easy, quick, and healthy dinners like eggs with veggies, stir fry’s, or an open faced sandwich. However last week in spite of all of the madness that has been my life as of late, I was able to take a moment to myself and cook a recipe I have been wanting to try for a while.

I found this recipe looking through Pintrest. The moment I saw the picture I knew this dish was going to have to be made. What also sealed the deal on it was I already had most of the ingredients at home, so it also made it an easy week night dish. Overall the dish was pretty easy to prepare, although the longest part was backing the spaghetti squash, which takes about 40 minutes. I made a few changes to the recipe based on what I had around, however I have indicated what changes I made below.

Preparation was quick and when it was all done, I filled up a bowl for me and one for Dustin. By the end of the meal my bowl was pretty much licked clean. This dish did not disappoint! It really did taste like chow mein, however without that heavy gut feeling after eating an entire bowl of the real stuff. This recipe is healthy and delicious. I have to say t is a must try , especially if you are craving some Chinese food. Next time I might add some shrimp or chicken into it to get a little extra protein. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (I used Braggs Liquid Amino Acid instead. This is a staple in our household for cooking)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed (I used honey since I was out of brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger (I used powdered ginger as that is what I had at home)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (I cut this down to 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
  • 2 cups cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)

Directions

Cut a spaghetti squash in half length wise and scoop out seeds. Lay skin side up in a 13 x 9 dish and pour about 1/2 inch of water into the pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until the flesh becomes tender. When done scoop out the flesh with a fork so it breaks apart into strings and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, ginger and white pepper; then set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and celery cooking until tender, which is about 3-4 minutes. Add in the cabbage mix at the very end for about 1 minute.

Next stir in spaghetti squash into the large skillet and pour the  sauce mixture over top. Stir everything for a minute or so to make sure it is all combined. Then you are ready to eat!

Things I am Loving This Week-New York Edition

IMG_0781

IMG_0028

My Valentines Day weekend was spent traveling out to New York City for a work trip. Nothing like packing a suitcase of bulky sweaters and a wool coat wearing flip flops. All in all my trip was 7 days, a mix of working and fun. The trip started with attending the New York Toy Fair and my first official night in the city was spent at a Women in Toys Event Dinner. The food was delicious, a full 4 course serving. Pair that with a great glass of wine, interesting people, and toys and you have yourself a fantastic nigh. Of course the table decorations were right up my alley.

IMG_0784 IMG_0790

Sometimes you just need to take yourself on a date night. After a long day of work, being on my feet all day, and the freezing temperatures outside just made me crave a bowl of warm hearty soup. After a nice dinner alone I took myself to go see the musical If/Then with Idina Menzel. Yes the woman who sang the Frozen song we all know so well. It was about a mile walk from my hotel to the theater and it was invigorating to say the least. I love how with age a night by myself no longer feels lonely like it did when I was younger, instead it now feels empowering.

IMG_0041

IMG_0042

After a morning rowing class and a run, I got bundled up and found a whole in the wall coffee shop cafe to settle in and work remotely for a while. The cafe was charming, cozy, and exactly the place you want to walk into after being out in the freezing cold. I ordered egg whites scrambled with a Mediterranean salad, toast, and a yogurt/cheese on the side. Since it was the early afternoon and it was my first meal of the day so I devoured it in entirety. Every bite was simply delicious.

IMG_0044 IMG_0045

In my meandering the city I stumbled on this gem of a coffee shop. It had a bookstore in the back with the most beautiful flower arrangements. Book stores and coffee shops are by far two of my favorite places to spend time in the world. Combining them just made it that much more perfect.

IMG_0794

One thing I love about just walking the city is not knowing what you are going to find. This was a painting on the side of a building I came across that made me stop mid-step to take a picture. I loved the color, graphics, and ease of it.

IMG_0055 IMG_0056

One of the nice things about freezing cold weather when you are walking everywhere is it makes you hop into random places for a few minutes in order to warm up. This was just one of the many moments like this in my time in the city. I found this little neighborhood market and fell in love instantly. What I love about shopping markets in new cities is seeing all of the different and local items they carry.

IMG_0797

After a hardcore spinning class I made my way to another little coffee shop for my morning breakfast. I brought some amazing yogurt I found at the market and nestled up with a new book. This to me is a perfect morning.

IMG_0064

In the course of my week in the city I ate at least 3 or 4 cheese plates. I don’t recall even eating that many full on meals while on my trip. Instead it was a week of snacking, drinking, and walking. This was just one of the many I enjoyed. Something about being in negative temperatures just makes you crave bread. Luckily since I still maintained my daily workouts and with all my miles upon miles of walking I was able to indulge in the evening without any worry, which was a real treat for me.

Things I Am Loving This Week

IMG_0687

After the holiday’s I have been a little bit of a homebody. Not sure if it was the over indulgence of the holiday’s or if it is the continued cold dark nights, but regardless I find myself nesting at home. So it was nice when an unusually warm Saturday came along and I was invited to go meet a couple of girlfriends at a new wine bar in the mission L’emigrante Wine Bar & Bistro. I had been here once before with some friends for a drink and had looked over the menu in pure lust. Alas I did not get anything to eat the first go round, so I was excited to partake this time. I have to say I was not disappointed. Nothing beats sun, good drinks, food, and amazing company!

IMG_0705

After a long week of work and exercise nothing feels better for the body then a massage. My favorite place in the city is Suchada Thai Massage. I have been going here for years and I have never been disappointed. Who would have thought someone walking all over you could feel so good. The other weekend I made a last minute appointment and I am so glad I did. Part of being healthy is listening to your body and knowing when it needs a little TLC.

Image-1

The one good thing about being at home more is being able to spend more time with one of the loves of my life Cooper. Its amazing how dogs know how to make you feel loved, grounded, needed, and can put a smile on your face after a long day. They are also pretty great at snuggling as well.

IMG_0713

It is true, I found myself at another beer bar La Trappe in the city.  Upon walking in the first thing I noticed was the instant cozy feeling this place invoked. The heart of the bar and restaurant was located down a staircase in a dark brick walled basement. It felt like a little taste of New York and Germany combined. The atmosphere just made a beer sound amazing, which their selection was pretty good. Although this place nailed it with the vibe and libations, the food was just mediocre and a little over priced. All in all I did enjoy the experience though.

IMG_0708

Just another day at the farmers market. This time of year the greens and root vegetables are everywhere. This stand of carrots was too beautiful to not be stopped and appreciated. I love the farmers market for the abundance of possibilities in front of you. Nothing beats grabbing a bunch of amazing produce and making it into something so much more.

The Foodist, the Best Diet Book I have Read

The Foodist

Lately I have had a few people ask me if there were books I used during my weight loss that I would recommend out to others. Unfortunately I did not read anything specifically in my weight loss mode besides a lot of health magazines and internet articles, however I have read a lot of books since then on food, fitness, and overall healthy living. Some of the books I have read have been very science based, while others are more opinion focused. My favorite books are the ones which are real, where I can relate to the topics covered, the advice given, and feel like anyone can do it. In order to make something a habit it needs to be something you are able to sustain. Who wants to live life without the indulgences of good food? With this in mind my favorite book by far on this topic is the “Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting” by Darya Pino Rose.

I first learned about this book at a local bookstore in Noe Valley called Omnivore Books who deals solely in books on food. Brilliant right? The books cover everything, cooking it, growing it, eating it, you name it. It was about a year ago I had found the little store and decided I needed to plan a whole day around going to it, have I mentioned my love of bookstores yet? This meant one Sunday morning after convincing Dustin to join me we got up and started the 2 mile leisurely walk there grabbing coffee and breakfast along the way.

Bookstores have always been a place of peace for me. I can spend hours in them. I take everything in around me. I walk from table to table looking at the curated assortment from someone else’s perspective. I take my fingers caressing the cover’s and picking up ever so gently the ones that peak my interest. I skim through the pages, pausing when I get to pictures. Looking, taking it all in. I found the foodist perched up towards the front window. As I started to read the summary my interest was immediately spiked even though I was no longer trying to lose weight. However the selling point for me from browsing to actually buying was seeing a little sign by the book talking to how in just a couple of weeks the author was going to be in the store doing a book reading and signing. I am a sucker for lectures, so in that moment the decision was made. I would purchase the book, read it, and attend the event.

First I am going to talk about the book, which we already know I loved. The author Darya had an ease to her writing that made it very educational without being preachy. It was refreshing to read a book that embraced food and health in a sustainable, which had been my focus at the time. Darya talks to how there is so much more to being healthy then constant exercise and watching everything that goes in your mouth. You don’t have to count every calorie or kill yourself at the gym to be able to lose weight and maintain it. Personally it made me feel confident that once the habits you make are established then your healthy lifestyle is easy to maintain, something I still struggle to fully trust. After reading her book my immediate reaction was feeling energized towards healthy living. I felt like I had just been talking to a friend who had given me some great advice.

In person Darya was very easy going. She talked to her book with a confidence and poise which made me want to befriend her.  I wanted to be engulfed with her knowledge. She seemed sweet, sincere, and grounded.  Nothing is better then hearing directly from someone on what inspired their work. It gives you context you would never get out of the book alone. Lastly I think what made me love this book even more was Darya lived in San Francisco, actually it turned out only a few blocks from where I lived. So the way she lived her life, the grocery stores she went to, the farmers markets, the gyms, those were the places I went to as well. If she could sustain this life only a few streets down from me, then I had no obstacles either.

To sum it all up, for anyone starting their healthy living journey, in the middle of it, or just needing to be inspired again I would recommend this book.  Trust me, you wont be disappointed.

 

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew Recipe

1

Let me put it out there, I read a lot of magazines. Something about opening up your mailbox, seeing the cover photo of your favorite guilty pleasure, new and staring back at you,  just  makes you feel like a special present has just been sent soley to brighten up your day. I always felt like I officially was an adult with my own place when I started to subscribe to every magazine I had ever wanted.  One of these magazines was one of my all time favorites from  Martha Stewart’s publications called Whole Living.

This magazine always seemed to capture what I loved about so many of my separate reads into one beautiful master monthly publication for my liking. It had the comforting home segment like Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living, but mixed in with the healthy living and fitness aspect like Fitness and Women’s Health. I found out of my 8 subscriptions this was the one magazine I held onto way too often as there was always just too much goodness in it to throw out.  Alas what happened to my beloved, well it was discontinued in 2013 and I found my magazine subscription life had to move on without it.

I still have a few of the best issues tucked away in my wicker magazine basket and the other day when the weather starting to turn a little cold I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to make and where to grab it.  The recipe was part of a 3 week detox plan in the 2013 January edition. I attempted to try the whole detox and made it through the first week before jet setting off to New York for a week of work and fun with friends. Obviously once the plane hit the ground the detox was off, but I found I came back for weeks after trying all of the various recipes upon returning home.

One of my favorite was the Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew. This dish is filling, healthy, flavorful, and hits the spot on a chilly night. It says it makes 4 servings, but really I found it to make about 6. The other night we paired it with a little brown rice, which added a little more girth to it. It is really easy to make, quick to cook, and only gets better after a day or two. My only complaint, it is not very photogenic. So I apologize for not having a great glamour shot of this one. However I included the link to the recipe at Whole Living so you can see a more mouthwatering rendition.  I hope you enjoy!

FullSizeRender

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

Whole Living, January/February January/February 2013

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp coconut or extra-virgin olive oil (I just used cooking spray to save a few calories and it worked well)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 diced large onion
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 minced cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 peeled and diced sweet potatoes
  • 1 diced (stemmed, seeded) red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups rinsed red lentils
  • 6 cups vegetable broth

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook cumin, turmeric and curry powder until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion with a few pinches salt, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and bell pepper and cook 1 minute.
  2. Add lentils and Broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

A Weekend of Food in Pictures

IMG_0234

What does someone do after they have spent all week on a rotation diet, well I can answer that. You go and enjoy food and drinks all weekend. Which is exactly what I did!

IMG_0235

The weekend started at a restaurant called Bar Crudo in my new neighborhood, which has an amazing happy hour.  Also can I say happy hour is genius in my opinion. You get a deal just for starting your night off early, why would someone not want to participate. I have also found now living in an area closer to a college campus that happy hour is very prominent at most of the neighborhood establishments.

IMG_0236

Bar Crudo is a great seafood spot, but can be a little pricey. This is why the happy hour specials are so killer. They have $1 Oysters, $1 mussels, $10 for 2 fish tacos, and $6 for a healthy pour of wine. The food and wine was all delicious and I recommend to anyone to check out this hidden gem.

IMG_0239

The following day after one of the hardest spinning classes I have ever been to and then a hike with some girlfriends, it was decided brunch was needed.  We made our way to a neighborhood spot called Sparrow Bar and Kitchen. I have been here only once before and found their food to be a little hit or miss. However the atmosphere is quite nice. They have a huge outdoor back patio where we enjoyed our breakfast in the rare San Francisco sun. I ordered the smoked salmon quiche with maple crème fraîche.  It was yummy, just the right amount of food, and was accompanied by a small green salad. Pair this with a cup of coffee and it totally hit the spot!

photo 3

After brunch Dustin and I went to see the musical Pippin, AMAZING! If you have the chance to see it you should. Afterwards we had to go to one of our favorite brewery restaurants in the city Mikkeller Bar. Of course when you go here you have to order a bratwurst. I ordered the muffuletta bratwurst and replaced the french fries with a salad. I paired it with a Dubbel beer, which made me a little buzzed afterwards. All in all it was a great weekend of food! Of course this week I have been back on track making all my meals for the week. However I am getting ready to enjoy the weekend again!

Things I am Loving This Week

 

photo 4

photo 5

One thing I love about new neighborhoods is finding new restaurants. Barrel Head Brewhouse is a restaurant/brewery I have been wanting to check out for a little while now. Dustin and I decided to go there for a late lunch/early dinner one day last week. Overall the place is awesome. Very roomy, open, casual, but still is able to maintain a hip and young vibe.  Of course I had to try the cheese plate, which usually I try to reserve for sharing with someone else, but not this day. It was all me! However I am not going to lie, I only ended up eating about half of it. Dustin ordered the burger with an egg and said it was very tasty. The only complaint I had was the beer was just ok, however I only tried a couple. I have a feeling this might be a new usual spot.

photo 6

I love a Saturday morning run when you come across something unexpected. I am obsessed with cactus and succulents. They have become a new fixture in my home for decorating. I love them for not only their beauty, but ease of care. Now if only I could bring this patch inside I would have it made.

photo

This week as a special treat for my parents I surprised them by taking them to go see Motown the Musical. Growing up my parents were season ticket holders to musicals in Denver, Colorado. So anytime a big musical came to the city my parents would get my brother and I tickets. I remember the excitement of getting to get all dressed up, driving up to the big city, seeing the show, and then going out to eat for dinner. All of this made the whole experience special and magical. Now as an adult one of my favorite things is going to see a musical. As for Motown, it did not disappoint! Obviously the music was amazing, the performers were fantastic, and the energy was contagious. I recommend seeing it while it is here or if it makes it to your city!

photo 2

This week with all of my cheese and bread eating, I decided a nice salad was in order. This is the tuna nicoise I ordered out for lunch at a little restaurant by the theater. It was light, delicious, and filling. I ordered it without the dressing since it was dairy based and would have added a ton of calories .Instead I put some balsamic vinegar on top and it hit the spot!

photo 1

Last night Dustin surprised me with a new pair of new running shoes since mine had started their gradual decent. I love that I find this way more romantic then jewelry or a nice dinner out. Also it is amazing how frequently I go through those suckers!  Brooks or Saucony are typically my running shoes of choice, however this pair is Mizuno. I have to say they were pretty amazing after my first run this morning.