Hello! It’s the middle of the week, which means it’s time for another full day food extravaganza!
Head on over to Peas and Crayons to check out all the delicious food bloggers are buzzing about.
But wait! Before you click away…
Might I be able to entice you to stay? 😉
I’m not sure where my craving for pancakes came from yesterday morning. I usually enjoy savory egg white scrambles or egg puffs, but pancakes are first thing I remember thinking about when I opened my eyes.
The second thing I remember thinking about is coffee. And when I realized that I was out of my trusty standby, Starbucks Via, I had a mini panic attack.
I rushed out the door sans breakfast and walked two blocks to the closest Starbucks to stock up on my favorite instant roast.
Don’t judge. I truly enjoy Starbucks Via more than I do their fresh espresso! The coffee at the ‘bucks tastes burned to me, but the Via’s have a consistently bold, smooth, delicious flavor.
AND they’re much cheaper. I say that’s a win. Especially when you’re on a grad student budget. 😉
Once caffeine was pumped well into my body, I was ready to eat.
BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE PANCAKES
1/2 cup oat flour (or oats)
1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese
2-3 egg whites (depending on size)
1/4 unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choosing)
1 t. baking powder
1 packet stevia
dash of cinnamon; dash of salt (optional)
blueberries (about 1/4 cup)
1. Mix everything in a Magic Bullet or blender; fold in blueberries.
2. Cook on a skillet, as you do regular pancakes.
Adding cottage cheese to pancake batter created a flavor reminiscent of cheesecake (or a cheese danish—-whichever you prefer). The pancakes were tender and indulgent, yet super clean and healthy.
After devouring my pancakes, I started prepping for dinner.
Insert: Chest and ab workout at the gym + 20 minutes of elliptical cardio.
If you haven’t tried protein “frosting,” I highly recommend that you do! (1 scoop whey protein + a splash or water or almond milk = “frosting”)
I spent the entire morning turning the kitchen into a pig pen (veggies on the floor! flour in my hair!), so the last thing I wanted to do was create more mayhem.
Thank goodness for Sweetgreen to-go!
I cheated and asked for a sample of frozen yogurt. Samples don’t count, do they? 😉
My order: Guacamole Greens with shrimp. I substituted roasted corn for the tortilla chips and used the avocado as “dressing.”
When you have a half avocado to work with, you can do that. 😉
I also enjoyed a new beverage: Seagram’s Blackberry Raspberry Sparkling Seltzer Water.
I was recently sent a box of these no sugar-added refreshers (they come in four delicious flavors!), and was excited to try my first one.
Verdict: LOVED it! I’m a huge fan of sparkling beverages (my favorite wine is Champagne!) but not such a huge fan of their artificial ingredients.
Okay, full disclosure: I do enjoy Diet Coke regularly but it’s not a something I’m proud of. I’m hoping these fun fruity drinks will help me break my soda habit!
Hard boiled egg and 1/2 oz almonds. The combination of these two foods is so satisfying!
Elaina and I enjoyed dining al fresco with two good college friends, Lauren and Sara.
The chicken had been marinating in olive oil and spices all day, so the flavor was incredible. The salad was light and fresh, which was great for a summer evening. I especially enjoyed the zing of bold flavor provided by the kalamata olives and feta cheese.
We’d planned on making s’mores for dessert, but Safeway’s marshmallow stock was completely depleted this afternoon (save for several bags of mini marshmallows—but who roasts those?!). There was no time to come up with a plan B, so we had to resort to something already in the house to satisfy our sweet tooths (<—sweet teeth doesn’t sound right!).
A bag of half-eaten Ghiradelli chocolate chips to the rescue. 😉
The four of us chatted well into the night, fueled by Domaine Des Ormes (aka delicious fancy French wine) and handfuls of dark chocolate.
After the girls left, I sat down to write this post and nosh on my favorite nighttime treat.
Always perfect way to end the day! 😉
Before I go, I have a little announcement to make: Yesterday was the first day in years that I haven’t counted my calories. I realize that calorie counting is a sensitive issue, and that it can be very destructive (it once was for me!). However I also believe it can be done healthfully. Despite my abusive relationship with calorie counting in the past, over the past three months I’ve used numbers to ensure that I’m eating enough to fuel my muscle gains. And it has worked! I’ve gained seven pounds of mostly muscle to date, and have a few more to go before reaching my 10 pound goal.:)
However, I’ve realized that I’m finally ready to let go of the sense of control that obsessively tracking numbers has provided me over the years. Twelve years, to be exact. I started counting calories when I was 14, and I haven’t stopped since. Oy. That’s a long time!
I’m ready to be free of that. TRULY READY.
I realize that it won’t be a cake walk; old habits die hard, and I’m going to have to un-learn something I do automatically. But I was able to do it yesterday, which means I’ll be able to do it today…and tomorrow.
My nutrition classes, as well as personal experience, have reaffirmed that health and happiness are in no way determined merely by numbers. Sure, numbers ARE important—in fact, I plan on loosely tracking protein, carbohydrate and fat ratios to ensure that I’m more or less in the right “zone” for muscle growth and maintenance. However, what’s far more important, in my opinion, is listening to my body and doing what works for me. We’re all different. For some, calorie counting might be the best way to optimize their health. For others, eating 100% intuitively might be the answer.
What I know now is this: At this point in my life, calories no loner need to play a major role. This might change in the future, but for now, I’m going to begin enjoying freedom from numbers. 😀
Thank you so much for love and support! Love you all!
Questions for you:
Do you count calories? If so, how does it help or hinder you?
What’s your favorite pancake topping?
I only put syrup on plain pancakes! If a pancake is really good, no syrup is needed! I love adding fresh fruit and peanut butter, though. 😉
What type of coffee do you drink in the morning, and how do you prepare it?
Unless I have access to really good espresso, I go with Vias. One packet of stevia and a touch of coconut creamer.
Favorite “un” salad dressing?
I’ve been known to use goat cheese, ketchup, mustard and guacamole as my “dressings.”