WIAW: Put a Fried Egg On It

Hiya eaters!

I haven’t done a WIAW in a hot minute, so why not, right?

Oh, and I didn’t have anything exciting to blog about because I eat a lot of leftovers that I top with fried eggs. Because really, what doesn’t taste better with a little runny yolk? (I should add that to my food manifesto.)


Breakfast:

Shredded, roasted Brussels sprouts baked with two eggs.

Shredded, roasted Brussels sprouts baked with two eggs.

Speaking of fried eggs…

Seriously, this was a coincidence. I didn’t remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday when I wrote that intro.

On the side I also had a Clementine (because all those Brussels sprouts are only 1 Zone block of carbs, can I get a #HotDamnHoory!).

Work:

Grande whole milk latte and a messy desk.

Grande whole milk latte.

I was out of creamer and forgot to add fat to my breakfast, so this happened. For the first time since before Christmas.

Yes, I am proud of that.

Lunch:

Vinegar baked chicken, spicy peach seitan, and a kale salad.

Vinegar baked chicken, spicy peach seitan, and a kale salad.

Since we all know that grocery shopping on an empty stomach is bad, so I treated myself to the Whole Foods hot bar. For the first time since before Christmas.

As you noticing a pattern? I eat more convenience foods when school is in.

Snack:

WINE GUMS!!!

WINE GUMS!!!

My friend Polly is a freaking angel and brought me a big bag of my FAVORITE gummies from England — wine gums! So I ate a few too many of these.

Dinner:

Homemade pizza with chorizo, peppers, onions, and fresh mozzarella.

Homemade pizza with chorizo, peppers, onions, and fresh mozzarella.

I had a kneading breakthrough last week, so I had to see if extra kneading improved my pizza dough.

It totally dinner. The chorizo helped, too.

And that officially makes this pizza the second tastiest thesis homework yet! (Though I’m baking cinnamon rolls tomorrow, so that might change.)

Your turn, eaters:

Do you eat leftovers as is or you do jazz them up a bit?

What’s your favorite candy?

*Bonus* Would you be interested in me sharing my thesis recipes?

Later eaters!

I Love Silk

Hiya eaters!

It’s Friday! Friday! Something something something Friday!

Yeah, I’m not really up on pop culture. (Speaking of which, where the hell do people find all this new pop culture? Are there things I’m not reading?) And I do realize that song is so last year, but until it’s featured on an episode of VH1’s “I Heart The (decade)” I still consider it pop culture.

But that’s enough of that weird rant.

Did you know that I don’t really have much product/brand loyalty?

With the exception of a few things (tampons, face washes, hand creams, and coffee creamer, to name a few) I flip flop all over the place.

Store brand. Name brand. Whatever’s on sale. My favorite that is only available at one store so I buy it when I’m there, but am generally to lazy to go all the way there just to buy one thing. The things I keep buying because I remember buying them before and thinking that I liked them only to find out that I don’t after it’s too late.

You know the drill.

But I am here to declare that after years of dabbling in non-dairy milks — soy, almond, coconut, rice, and hemp — and all the brands that make them — Eden Soy, Pacific, Silk, So Delicious, West Soy, and store brands — I finally found the brand that I am loyal to.

And that lucky winner of my undying loyalty is…Silk!

Silk was one of the first soymilks I ever bought when I was first testing the non-dairy waters. And honestly, I probably gravitated towards them because when writing my grocery list I could shorten “soymilk” to “silk” and it made sense.

But now after having tried quite a few soymilks, I can say that theirs is pretty much top notch. It’s smooth and doesn’t have that weird taste or wateriness that a lot have (cough cough Harris Teeter brand cough). silk pure almond2

Lately I’ve been gravitating away from soymilk and luckily, Silk’s almond milk is pretty tasty, too. (Ya know, because I eat almonds and almond butter, and cook with almond flour, so I really need more almonds in my life.)

But seriously, Silk’s almond milk is awesome. I always preferred almond milk to soymilk because it seemed to have a richer mouth feel and Silk’s almond milk doesn’t disappoint.silk pure almond1

At less than 1 g of carbs per serving it’s perfect to add a bit of creaminess to my whey protein (while I wait for the egg protein I order and MUCH prefer to come in). AND they even have a dark chocolate flavor, which I definitely need to find a recipe or a reason so I can justify buying a carton.

So there you have it: I love Silk.

And luckily, I’m in pretty good company because a lot of my fellow Fitfluential Ambassadors love Silk, too. We love it so much that Silk has even rounded up a bunch of bloggers to create 30 recipes for their FB page using their unsweetened almond milk, which has 30 calories a serving. (Ehh ehh, you see what they’re doing there? That’s clever.)

And, hint hint, if you’re looking for an excuse to buy a carton of Silk’s dark chocolate almond milk there’s a recipe on there for a chocolate cherry smoothie that I bet you could substitute it in for. (There’s also a coupon for $1 off a carton on there, too!)

Yup, that sounds like a good enough reason to me.

Your turn, eaters:

What kind of milk, dairy or otherwise, are you partial to?

How much brand loyalty do you have?

Later eaters!

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own, I promise. 

Exhausted

G’day eaters!

For those of you who have been reading consistently since the summer you know that I have a job.

For those of you who are new to the club…I have a job. I work at a clothing store called Altar’d State, which is something like a mix between Forever 21 and Anthropologie in both style and price, and I recently got promoted from a sales associate to a part time manager. (I probably forgot to tell you that, didn’t I?)

I don’t talk about it much because, while I really love my job and just about every shift is a hoot and a half and it’s surprisingly challenging, it doesn’t really have anything to do with what we do here — food and exercise and occasionally trying to be a little healthier.

But then I realized the other day, as I flopped myself down on the couch after a particularly exhausting shift, that it kind of does have a little to do with what we do here.

I remember back in the summer, when I was looking for a job, scoffing at all the job postings that stated being able to stand for 6 hours at a time as a requirement.

Of course I can stand for 6 hours at a time!

I work out!

I’m in shape!

I’m not carrying around an extra 15 or so pounds like the average American. I’m healthy as a horse — the healthy kind of horse, not the kind bound for the glue factory.

Fyi, I don't usually wear yoga pants to work. Today we were doing inventory. And fyi again, my dog does usually use a pillow.

Fyi, I don’t usually wear yoga pants to work. Today we were doing inventory. And fyi again, my dog does usually use a pillow.

And yet here I am, not even 7 months later, absolutely exhausted after a 5-hour shift.

In my defense, I’m not just standing for 5 hours. I’m walking, sometimes running. I’m carrying things and climbing and bending and twisting and smiling and remembering where things are and lugging around a giant commercial vacuum at night.

Granted, I’m climbing a ladder not a mountain, and the heaviest thing I carry is a dozen maxi dresses or a box of hangers, but now I know that I shouldn’t have been scoffing at 6 hours of standing as an important job requirement. And I’m reminding of that every day after a shift when I come home tired and just a little bit sore and the mere thought of sitting down in a comfortable chair makes me weak in the knees and I would give almost anything for half an hour in a hot Jacuzzi.

Now this isn’t a post about how physical exertion comes in all varieties, not just Crossfit (though that is a post I want to write). This is a post about how I need to find comfortable, fashionable shoes. And I need to learn how to recover better, both from work and from the gym. And I need to learn how to save enough money to buy a Jacuzzi.

Your turn, eaters:

Got any suggests for comfortable, fashionable shoes besides Toms? 

How do you recover? Food? Stretching? Active recovery? An on-call masseuse? 

Later eaters!

Help Me With My Homework

Hiya eaters!

Things are chugging along nicely over here. I’m working and working out as much as possible before classes start back and it was warm enough on Saturday for Leon to smoke up a big rack of ribs.

So yeah, things are good.

And now, here’s a blog:

Yup, this is for real. So please, m’dear eaters, help me.

Email me at kara_h_thomas @ yahoo . com and let me know about any dietary restrictions or allergies, and I’ll set you up with a recipe from my little cookbook.

 And then I’ll thank you personally in my thesis/cookbook. You’ll be like a celebrity. Except on a very small scale.

Fried Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Glaze

Yields ~2 dozen

Donut Ingredients

2 ½ c all purpose flour

1 c whole wheat pastry flour*

4 t baking powder

½ t baking soda

1 t salt

1 t ground cinnamon

½ t ground ginger

1 c sugar

3 T unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg

2 egg yolks

1 t vanilla extract

½ c buttermilk**

1 c pumpkin puree

canola or vegetable oil, for frying

*Regular whole wheat flour is too coarse for this recipe so only use whole wheat pastry flour or more all purpose flour for this cup.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl and whisk together until evenly combined.

Put the sugar and butter into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium until the sugar is dissolved and everything is smooth. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla to the bowl and then use the electric mixer to beat everything on medium until evenly combined.

In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk and pumpkin puree until it is clump free.

Turn the electric mixer on low and add a third of the dry mixture to the bowl and beat until everything is evenly incorporated. Add half of the pumpkin-buttermilk mixture to the bowl and beat until it is evenly incorporated. Continue alternate adding the dry mixture and the pumpkin-buttermilk mixture until everything is added and mixed until completely incorporated.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

With floured hands, scoop out half the dough onto a very well floured surface and, using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a ½” thickness. Using a ~3” circle cutter, cut out as many circles from the dough round as possible. Then using a ½”-1” circle cutter, cut out a circle from the middle of each large circle. Remove the small rounds to fry as donut holes. Continue rolling out more dough and cutting out donuts and donut holes until all the dough is used.

Heat ~4” of oil in a pot or deep pan to 360F-375F, as gauged by an oil/candy thermometer.

Carefully drop 4 donut holes or 2 donuts at a time into the hot oil and fry for 3 minutes, using tongs or a large slotted spoon to flip halfway through. Once done remove the donuts to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Glaze Ingredients

2 c powdered sugar

1 T maple syrup

½ t vanilla extract

3 T buttermilk

Put the powdered sugar into a small, cereal-type bowl. Add the syrup and the vanilla and mix everything together with a fork or a whisk. Add the buttermilk, half a tablespoon at a time, and mix thoroughly until the glaze is free of clumps and thick enough to coat the fork or whisk.

Carefully dunk the top of each donut into the glaze.

This recipes produces a mountain of absolutely delicious donuts. They’re not huge like Dunkin Donuts and they’re not super pumpkin-y, both of which are positives in my book.

And in case you’re wondering, this recipe will accompany an essay about my, and a lot of women’s, struggle to have it all and to decide what “it all” is. And it starts by discussing the Queen of England.

Your turn, eaters:

If you could write a book, any kind of book, what would it be?

You wouldn’t happen to know anyone in publishing who you want to pass my name along to, would you?

Later eaters!

 

FRS FTW

G’day eaters!

So you guys (and girls! I know that the majority of you are of the lady persuasion and I am trying to be more conscious of my rhetoric) know that I’m a #Fitfluential ambassador, right?

Well, besides Fitfluential and all the other ambassadors being a constant source of inspiration to put down the Mike & Ikes (btw, what’s up with the riff between Mike and Ike? Is that some weird marketing ploy?) and do something not lazy, they also show me a constant stream of products designed to make my life easier, healthier, and all around better.

And the latest products designed to make me perkier, stronger, and sexy-slim (as opposed to weird, extra bony slim) are FRS drinks!

There are four types of drinks — Healthy Energy, Healthy Slim, Healthy Defense, and Healthy Protein — plus Healthy Energy drink powder, and Healthy Energy soft chews and hard candies.

Quite the product line, right?

After having tried them I can say, hands down, that my favorites were the protein drinks!

The protein drinks come in two flavors — Orange Cream and Blueberry Acai — and o’m’gah, they are tasty.

The Orange Cream tastes exactly like a melted creamsicle with only the slightest tiny bit of that weird medicinal orange-y taste (though, disclaimer, I am HYPER sensitive to that medicinal orange taste from a childhood of eating giant chewable vitamin C tablets). Seriously, I contemplated freezing them in the whimsical ice cube trays I got for Christmas to make Titanic-shaped protein popsicles.

And speaking of doing weird things with protein drinks…

I kinda think the Blueberry Acai flavor could be good with some vodka. Is that weird?

Probably, but I was drinking one after a particularly intense Crossfit WOD last week and totally thought that it could use a splash of vodka. Ya know, to balance out the carbs of alcohol. That could have been the handstand push-ups talking, though.

But even without vodka, the Blueberry Acai drink is tangy and a little sweet and a very welcome departure from the usual vanilla/chocolate protein drink.

Which brings me to my next point: these protein drinks pack a ton of protein.

I have a strict minimum of 20g of protein for a workout and since these drinks each have 25g they are perfect (especially for those times when I’m too lazy to wash my blender bottle or forgot to wash it for a day or two and it smells really bad).

So while I did like all the other drinks, especially the cherry limeade energy drink, which definitely tasted like those Sonic drinks, they were a bit high in sugar for me (with the Healthy Energy drinks clocking in at 20g sugar). The Healthy Slim drinks are significantly better on the sugar front, but the protein drinks were still my absolute favorite.

And now for the answer you’ve all been waiting for: Would I spend my own money on them?

Yup. I wouldn’t necessarily do it too often, because ~$3 a bottle is a bit pricey, but I would buy them. And then I’d add vodka to most of them, because in my world most fruity drinks are just screaming for vodka.

Don’t judge me. I could be a visionary.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s the most you would pay for a drink, including fancy Starbucks drinks?

What’s something weird you do/want to do with your food?

Later eaters!

Disclaimer — I was provided these products in exchange for my review, but the opinions here are honest…ly my own. 

A Few Goals

‘Ello eaters!

I spent all New Years day lying in bed with the second or third worst hangover of my life. It included the never ending precursor to a migraine that never actually started and a good bit of nausea whenever I lay on my back.

Aren’t you glad I told you that?

To make up for that TMI, here’s a picture of my brother in a suit. 

So while it wasn’t the most awesome way to spend the first day of 2013, it did give me a lot of time to think.

2012 was a phenomenal year for me.

I lived in London.

I had a great internship.

I went to Ireland with my boyfriend where I did NOT propose to him. (Oh, I never told you that funny story?)

I went to Paris twice.

I moved in with my boyfriend and started figuring out what kind of house person I am. Spoiler alert: not the obsessively clean kind.

I got the cutest, greatest, most wonderfully snuggly and adorable puppy in the world that is currently curled up in a little pretzel ball between Leon and I in bed.

I started doing Crossfit.

I hosted Thanksgiving.

Yeah, it’s been a big year. A stressful, crazy, trying, exciting, amazing, weird as fuck year.

And now I’m preparing for this new frontier year where I’ll be graduating from college and … doing other things.

And while I’m doing all these other things, I also have a few goals that I want to accomplish.

Side note: I’m calling them goals instead of resolutions because resolutions have a negative, stressful connotation. And because as Caitlinsaid far more eloquently than me, I don’t need another stressor. It’s not always about “doing more things more efficiently.”

One of my many plates of appetizers that I ate at my friends' paleo NYE party.

Anyway, my goals this year are simple.

First and foremost, I want to give more to charity. There are several causes that I’ve felt particularly drawn recently — a lot of pet rescues and childhood hunger charities. I want to donate to those causes, which means that I need to restructure my budgeting to allow for that. I want to volunteer, which means that I need to restructure my time to allow for that.

Second, I want to go on a vacation. Leon and I started a little savings jar with the hope that we’ll eventually be able to go on a vacation. We don’t know where. It won’t be extravagant. But it would be nice to go away for a few days.

Third, I want to read more. I’m not going to quantify this goal, because it’s kind of hard to read too much during the semester. But it’s just something for me to keep in mind.

Fourth, I want to drink a little less. It’s not that I drink all that much now, but I could always stand to drink less, right? Right!

Fifth, I want to eat more donuts. They’re one of my all time favorite foods and I think I can count on two hands the number of donuts that I ate last year. That’s less than one a month, which I deem despicable.

So there you have it, all the things I wish I were doing today instead of trying not to throw up and simultaneously wishing I had a big, juicy bacon cheeseburger. It’s a wild and crazy life I lead.

Your turn, eaters:

How did you spend the first day of 2013?

Do you have any goals or resolutions?

Later eaters!