A Filling Salad

I like to think I’m a pro at making salads. I posted 2 of my new yums yesterday – salads really can be wholesome and filling (not just greens and no oil!) and they can be for lunch or dinner.

They key is adding things like kabocha or squash or other root veggies (beets, sweet potatoes, etc…), healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, bacon, butter), and other extras. I am currently *not* vegetarian or vegan, so I definitely enjoy meaty add-ons like bacon, lunch meat, cheese, and eggs.

(I am a vegetarian/vegan enthusiast but that strict lifestyle is not for me!)

(Picture is not today’s salad, but quite similar. I thought I had uploaded the picture but I hadn’t!) Today my lunch salad consisted of:

  • base: massaged kale with avocado, lemon juice, bragg’s liquid aminos, and salt + chopped romaine
  • toppings: organic nitrate/nitrite-free turkey bologna, shredded cheddar, thinly sliced celery (mandoline)
  • dressing: annie’s light honey mustard

I addition to salads, I like bringing sauteed veggies (with more filling toppings) to work for lunch as well. I’m not usually a fan of processed foods, but some of the frozen options at Trader Joe’s have served me well for toppings.

This is:

  • base: purple cabbage and beets sauteed in organic butter + cilantro
  • toppings: half of a vegetarian frozen lasagna from Trader Joe’s

It was delicious and held me through the afternoon… with a few nuggets of dark chocolate that I had for lunch dessert.

When I do dinner salads (often) I abide by the same rules. A base of healthy greens, and I add on healthy fats and carbs (kabocha, squash, root veggies) and maybe some extras (organic meat).

What’s your favorite lunch to bring to work/school/on a plane/wherever? What are your salad tips?

Salad Tuesday and Flat Bread

I added a tab on the blog called “Operation Wedding“. I’ll be tracking my workouts and progress over the next 2.5 months… July 24th is quickly approaching! Operation Wedding is well underway – I am very sore this morning.

In other wedding news, I got a caterer. It’s going to be a secret though. You will just have to wait and see because I feel like being secretive. At least for now.

I wanted to share two yummy salads that I have made recently. I always eat more salads in the summer – I just crave them. And I have decided that $2.99 for a bunch of kale is not so terrible. It’s cheaper than eating out, I suppose.

Salad numero uno:

  • base: romaine; massaged kale with avocado, lemon juice, salt, and bragg’s liquid aminos
  • toppings: tomatoes, cucumbers, uncured organic turkey bologna (nitrate/nitrite-free)
  • dressing: pear-feta dressing from trader joe’s

Salad numero dos:

  • base: romaine; massaged kale with avocado, lemon juice, salt, and bragg’s liquid aminos
  • toppings: beets sauteed in butter + some cilantro, uncured organic turkey bologna (nitrate/nitrite-free), shredded cheddar cheese
  • dressing: annie’s lite honey mustard dressing

They were delicious. Reminds me of doing Leng’s salad challenges last year. I hear RhodeyGirl is doing a salad challenge right now too, and so is Lara. I adore salad, and I probably have a salad almost every day without even trying. Don’t forget, I am The Salad Girl.

In non-salad news, I had this amazing flatbread from Trader Joe’s this weekend:

It was called the “Tarte aux Champignons” – a French style flat bread with mushrooms, emmental, and parmesan (love!) cheese. I ate half and Bobby ate half… but I stole his crust. It was amazing. I actually wish the whole thing was just crust. We’ll definitely be buying this again if we can ever get into Trader Joe’s. I had to get this when I was in New Jersey because the Union Square Trader Joe’s lines are always too long.

What’s your favorite salad dressing? Mine is certainly honey mustard! I get it 99% of the time.

Operation Wedding

**UPDATE**

My wedding was on July 24th, 2010. When I moved to New York in November 2009 from California, I took a new job, I started eating out more, and got a little bit lax about exercise and fitness. I wanted to shape up a little bit for the wedding, so these are the exercises that I found most effective:

Yoga

  • Tom Morley’s Buns and Thighs Yoga (~25 minutes)
  • YogaDownload’s Yoga Sculpt (~25 minutes)
  • YogaDownload’s Weight Loss Yoga (~25 minutes)

Strength Training

Cardio

  • Walking. I try to walk at least 2 miles every day. On my better days I will walk upwards of 4 miles. Walking is great for your bones, your legs, and toning in general. It is an exercise that you can do whether you are in shape or just starting to get fit. You can walk no matter where you live, no matter what the weather is like outside. Walking in snow just makes it better exercise 😉 Walking is my exercise of choice because it’s just so easy to fit in. I walk with my husband and we chat about our days. I walk alone and listen to music or podcasts. I think about things to blog about. I cannot get enough!

My Results

I lost about 5 pounds and I gained back a lot of tone. I was really pleased with the results of “Operation Wedding”. Here are some wedding pictures (I am a little bit wedding-obsessed now, so bear with me! For more pictures visit My Photographer’s site -> Featured Events -> Maggie & Robert):

**END UPDATE**

—Original post below—

I have just over 2.5 months until my wedding to look toned. I’m going to try to do either Jillian’s 30-day shred *or* a 20-minute yogadownload routine every day. This morning I did the 30-day shred level 1 routine. Great before-work workout.

What will I eat? Probably the same stuff I usually do. I just want some nice long lean muscles for the wedding. I’ve lost my toned-ness since moving to New York because I haven’t been doing much yoga (or any kind of strength training at all).

Yesterday I mentioned that I saw a celebrity at Souen – it was Lisa Edelstein, aka Dr. Cuddy from House. I adore House. Such a good show. Cuddy was absolutely drop dead gorgeous in person. That show does not do her justice. Apparently she is vegan and practices Ashtanga yoga. I may copy her if I will look that good when I’m 44.

I also mentioned that I converted Bobby and Julia (sister) into oatmeal lovers. This was our Sunday brunch:

Mine is on the left (oats, butter, honey). Julia’s in on top (oats, cinnamon, sliced apples, peanut butter). Bobby’s is on the lower right (oats, honey, apples).

The trick is to use Scottish style oats or steel cut oats. They are chewy and have a completely different texture from instant oats or even regular oats. If you think you don’t like oatmeal, think again. You will love these. (Make sure to add a dash of salt for each serving while cooking – that’s another reason that people don’t like oats. They’re awful without the salt.)

I have also been eating yummy lunches at work. Last week I sauteed up some cabbage in a whole lot of butter and ate it with half of a frozen eggplant parm from Trader Joe’s.

Mmm butter. I could be a vegan aside from the butter and the cheese. Oops. I would be a bad vegan.

Though this new breakfast is completely vegan and awesomely delicious (and fatty!) on a hot day:

Yes, that is a smoothie in a bowl. It’s just…

  • 1 cup coconut milk kefir
  • 1.5 cups frozen fruit (this is strawberries, but today’s was raspberries and blueberries)
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Blend it in a food processor, blender, or magic bullet. I used my mini food processor.

It was great after my morning workout. I may have another one tomorrow. I love having fats in the morning.

Have you made a new breakfast recently? I rarely waver from either eggs or oats, so this was a nice change.

Review: Slice Perfect Pizza in New York

If you haven’t checked it out already, Foodbuzz just launched a new Healthbuzz section. I’m one of the Contributing Health Editors, along with a few of my favorites – there are too many to list so go check them out yourself.

I mentioned yesterday that my sister came to visit me for the weekend. So…

Bobby and I have been meaning to go to this organic pizza placeSlice – on the upper east side for a while now. I’d heard of it through my Cornell listserve (the owners are fellow Cornellians) and apparently Bobby’s business partner is actually friends with them. We decided to take Julia there for her first night in the city (Friday).

Slice also offers gluten-free pies, and actually pies for people with all different allergies – dairy, wheat, gluten, nuts, casein, etc… Everything is made to order and fresh (no pre-made pizza that gets reheated). The slices come sliced into bite-size pieces – about 5 per slice, I think. Apparently they are the only pizzeria in the country that uses 100% organic mozzarella cheese.

We shared the bruschetta to start ($5.50 I think). I left my camera at home so these pictures are taken from Yelp. This picture shows the bruschetta on little crackers, but it was actually served with fresh toasted pita bread – which was delicious. I think the “pita” was actually the same dough they make their (thin-) crust pizza with.

Source.

Julia got the “intermediate” slice ($5). It was a honey whole wheat crust with marinara, arugula, and goat cheese. It was amazing. Their menu is set up like a school – appetizers are “additional learning”, drinks are “extracurriculars”, and so on.

Source.

Bobby got 2 slices – one was “Taste of India” ($4.50) (honey whole wheat crust, channa masala, and part-skim mozzarella). You had to eat this with a fork it was so thick and chickpea-covered. I’m going to be honest and say I didn’t like this one at all… but I don’t like Indian food; maybe an Indian food lover would enjoy it. Bobby and Julia didn’t like it that much either.

Source.

His other slice was called “the master” ($5.50), which was my favorite. I don’t have a picture. It was a thin-crust honey whole wheat pizza topped with marinara sauce, organic part-skim mozzarella, and crumbled free-range organic herbed chicken sausage. Oh my goodness, so delicious. It was light but meaty and the flavors were perfect.

I got this amazing salad, ($7) and I shared some of the pizzas and of course the bruschetta. (Greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, goat cheese.) I got this with the carrot ginger dressing – I dumped all 3 containers of dressing on the salad and wished they had given me more.

Source.

Next time I think I will get “the intermediate” (Julia’s pick) and steal some of Bobby’s “the master” (the organic chicken sausage one).

Slice was great – organic and reasonably priced. We left feeling pretty full – could definitely do without the appetizer next time. We’ll probably be back one night this week.

I broke out my camera yesterday and took pictures of several things I ate. It was nice. It felt odd after keeping the camera away for so long. The pictures include yummy oatmeal that converted Bobby and Julia into oatmeal lovers. That makes me happy. Bobby has been a willing weekend oatmeal participant for the last few weeks, ever since he found out about steel cut oats.

Do you like pizza? What’s your favorite kind? I like vegan or vegetarian pies with lots of veggies.

P.S. I saw a celebrity at Souen at Saturday brunch. She was gorgeous and her role in one of my favorite TV shows does not do her any justice at all. The women is 44 but she looks about 25. I want to be her. If I’m a vegan too will I look like that? If I practice yoga daily will I look like that? Guess who!

Reviews Galore

I have gotten lots of swag recently and I have been neglecting to post about it all. All of the products I’m listing here I got for free and the companies did not pay me to review them.

First up… Slice of Life Gummy Vitamins for Adults. Slice of Life sent me 3 flavors to try – omega 3-6-9 fish free, coq10, and vitamin C. These vitamins technically have different flavors, but they all tasted the same (yummy) to me. Bobby is a big fan because this means that he can have gummy candy that is actually healthy. I’d definitely recommend these for kids as well as adults. Yum yum.

Then… Fruit Not Fat aka Galaxy Granola. I have to admit, I am not really a granola person. BUT. This granola is different. It’s light and not too sweet and it’s the perfect crunchy addition to oatmeal or yogurt or even as a topping for baked goods. Galaxy sent me 3 flavors to try…

They sent me Not Sweet Vanilla, Vanilla Almond, and Cranberry Orange. My favorite was Vanilla Almond because of the nuts, but the others were very good too.

I have always disliked that granolas are actually an unhealthy fatty/sugary food that happen to have a name that connotates health. Galaxy is changing the game now. Check out the Fruit Not Fat blog for great ideas and recipes.

My sister is visiting me this weekend. She got in on Friday after work and we have been running around the city and hanging out. I don’t have many pictures, but I’ll do what I can to post a foodie recap tomorrow morning. We’ve been to some old favorites (Souen) and some new finds.

What did you do this weekend?