WIAW: Intervention + A Smile Experiment

In my post about the weekend I mentioned that with all the cakes, pies, cupcakes, cake pops, and other manner of sweet things around the house, I was the burgeoning owner of a MASSIVE sugar addiction.  I’ve never been quite sure why this happens with me; I only know that I seem to have a very addictive personality, and things like desserts and blog-reading and vlog watching are its downfall.

I’ve been trying to “get clean” all week; I’ve improved somewhat, in that I no longer uncontrollably beg for a second slice of cake after finishing a meal, but I still have a ways to go in conquering this craving.  Over this week, I’ve been trying to slowly dial back my sugar consumption–today, I was supposed to go completely no-added-sugar, but, alas, we had muffins in the freezer…

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The day started off well–I had a light (for me) breakfast of Chocolate Covered Katie’s 2-ingredient energy balls (in a lovely Tupperware container), followed by a banana and natural peanut butter.  True, the dates in the energy balls have a lot of sugar packed into their volume, but…I think running justifies this?  Even if one is only running 3 miles..?  Not sure.  Anyway, I needed an energy-packed snack that wouldn’t weigh me down while on the hamster wheel.

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Accompanied with some Celestial Seasonings African Rooibos tea!  I love everything about this tea–from the smell to the taste to the texture to the color.  It’s “red” tea; and, for the record, when the box bragged of cherry and toffee flavors, I thought it was too good to be true…but the stuff is truly like sweet dreams packed into tea bags.  And caffeine-free!  I’m addicted.

(And yup, I read food magazines over breakfast!)

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Lunch was simple–I’d like to say I was writing so much I didn’t really have time to put together a fancy lunch, but the truth is that I’d been telling myself I was going to work on novelling any time now for about the past four hours, and I really didn’t want any lengthy meal-prep to interrupt my procrastination.  So.  Leftover scrambled eggs + veggies in a whole-wheat tortilla it was.

(Afterward I was quite dismayed that I didn’t put any avocado in this, so I ate half an avocado on its own.  Also another tortilla.  Also some swiss cheese, and pickles.  I was HUNGRY, and craving eggy/cheesy/salty things!)

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At around 2 o’ clock, blood sugar levels must have dropped, because the intense sugar (and chocolate) cravings came back again, full-force!  They were quelled temporarily by a lovely (and oh-so-stunning, right? ;))  green–er, brown–smoothie made with banana, milk, spinach, and cocoa powder.  Thick, delicious, and easy to down while writing (which I was actually doing by this point!).
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But, of course, nothing gold can ever stay.  It was 5 o’ clock by the time my thoughts rolled around to dinner, and I was planning to make NeverHomemaker’s baked veggie pockets; alas, the dough required two hours of refrigeration!  I still went ahead and whipped it up as quickly as possible, but I needed something to tide me over until actual dinner could begin–I found solace in two banana-pb-chocolate chip muffins popped from the freezer (saved from breakfast at the Hatchday Party!).

DSCN3362Conveniently, by the time it was time to need to knead the dough (sorry–couldn’t resist!)  not only my blood sugar levels, but my serotonin levels as well, seemed to have dropped markedly, and I had, alas, worked my way deep into the heart of a Cloud of Foo.  (This is a term I coined a couple of years ago to describe the oh-so-lovely and horrific mood swings plummets characteristic of the adolescent brain, and also for the longer bouts of depression characteristic to my brain.)  I’m convinced that kneading, however, was invented by a furious baker, long, long ago, who sought a way to vent his anger without disfiguring the faces of his comrades.  Or perhaps a god of stress management.  At any rate, I felt much better after a heated 10-minute kneading engagement, and after about 20 minutes outside working on my volleyball skills with Family & co.

I was also smiling the entire time I was kneading–not because it had instantly lifted the dreaded Cloud of Foo, but because I, reader of things, had once heard that smiling, even if forced, releases immense amounts of endorphins into one’s brain, thereby instantly cheering them up even if they were formerly in a Cloud of Foo!  (Of course, I didn’t allow any members of Family & Co.  to see me at it; because, as you know, when one is battling a Cloud of Foo, one is too sullen to even attempt to be in an agreeable mood.  One becomes so stubborn that one doesn’t let one’s family see them attempt to smile, for fear that one’s family will think they are cheering up!  The last thing one wants when one is in a sullen mood is to be perceived as anything but sullen.)

Did my 10 minutes of forced smiling have any effect?  Marginally…I think getting my blood stirred up via kneading and volleyball was more efficient, though.  I also headed out to the garage/home gym a while after dinner to bang on the punching bag, and that was relieving.  Still, I think by then I was kind of resigned to feeling crappy for the rest of the day–I’m just looking forward to waking up in the morning, when my Cloud of Foo and I can “reset”.

A final, more WIAW-related line:  I’m drinking some more herbal tea as I type this up.  Partly in the hopes that it will soothe my frenzied mind, and partly because it tastes so awesome.  I think I might read some Bible before hitting the sack.  As I frequently remind you, my religion is as-yet-undecided and ever in flux, but I find it worthwhile for the philosophical value alone.  Nothing like pondering the meaning of life and morality to take your mind of Clouds of Foo.Dramatic Tea and Birthday Cake Baked Oatmeal 003

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WIAW(hile in the Big Apple)

Strangely enough, not a single apple.


new york 015The travel days both looked a heckuva lot like this!  I packed some “trail mix” (aka raisins and almonds, because I’m so creative!) to tide me over while in the airport, as well as a sack lunch that included a hummus/veggie wrap and an apple (but this apple didn’t count, you see, we still weren’t even on the plane yet).  Little did I know how mysteriously voracious I would become while waiting for two hours in the airport, with nothing but my laptop to entertain me (though that was very entertaining–a lot of writing got done!).

I don’t have pictures, per se, of the other foods I packed in my carry-on, but luckily I had with me a bag of Somersaults and some cranberry-orange flax granola.  Not ashamed to admit that, during the course of our 6-hour flight, I all but demolished the entire package of Somersaults.  Why oh why are salty, crunchy foods so addictive?

You can see the somersaults in my old suitcase picture, I supppose

You can see the somersaults in my old suitcase picture, I suppose–the granola is hidden, though

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new york 048Our first “real meal” (read: non-continental breakfast) was quick; we ducked into the place nearest to Carnegie Hall advertising vegetarian fare, Topaz Thai Restaurant.  Like a lot of NY restaurants, it was kind of half-way underground, and pretty dark, but it had a nice vibe–and quite excellent spicy peanut sauce!  The above crispy things were supplied to us as appetizers (there were bright pink and yellow ones, too–I wish I had thought to snap a photo before we all got nibbly), and they didn’t really taste like anything, but…you guys know I’m a sucker for peanut sauce. 🙂  (Anyone know what the above crispies are called?)  So much so that my meal was really just a pile of steamed veggies coated in the stuff, along with some brown rice and greenery for good measure.  Pretty spicy for my oh-so-delicate tastebuds, but the textures were great!

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Post-Carnegie celebration, we went out to Serendipity 3

There are really no words to describe this place.  Part stained-glass exhibition, part bohemian shabby-chic den, part novelty knick-knack shop, and part frozen-beverage peddling restaurant, the place was…unique.  Really, I came here only on recommendation of my school principal, who had been insisting MONTHS before hand that I HAD to order a milkshake at Serendipity.

I did, but not until after the main meal, thank goodness.  I ordered the “Alamo”, which was a black bean burger accompanied by chips and salsa^.  The salsa was great, and so were the chips–the burger was pretty tasteless on its own, but the melty cheese certainly helped.

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And then it was dessert time, so cordially awaited by all members of our table.  I ordered a “Frozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate”, which I had VERY high expectations for (as in, highlight-of-trip expectations), but alas…I mean, it was okay, but they “freeze” it by simply blending in fine crushed ice, which was grainy and made the texture of the whole thing just go meh.  Also, it watered down everything.  The whipped cream and chocolate curls on top were good, though.

BUT OH MY LORD ABOVE my grandfather ordered a HOT FUDGE SUNDAE (WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS I REGULARLY TOUT IT AS MY FAVORITE DESSERT).  It was, in all seriousness, the DEFINITION of #foodgasm.  I only had a few bites, but I wanted to steal it from him.  Badly.  I settled on sipping my cocoa in silence and glowering.

Oh, well…there’s always next year…

I regret to say that after this point, my food photography tapered off sharply–I learned rather quickly that New York is the city of walking, and after a few hours out in the heat the last thing I had on my mind when food was set before me was to take a picture–but I do have one more restaurant review for you, and then miscellaneous food pictures!

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Welcome to Hu Kitchen, New York.

This really looked like my kind of place.  From the signs outside to its regular inside reminders about using fresh, whole, unprocessed foods, its green smoothie bar, its plentiful salads–I was smitten.  And hungry.  I ordered a paleo vegetarian (how’s that for two words you hardly ever see in conjunction?) meatloaf, a butternut-stuffed portobello, and some spring pea salad.  I snapped a picture of the ingredient labels, too, cuz I know you guys dig that sort of thing. 🙂

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I'm not sure what "organic exempli gratia" is ;)

I’m not sure what “organic exempli gratia” is 😉  Oh yeah, Latin puns for the win..!

 

You guys…

I wanted to like this place.  I really, really did.  So badly I wanted to declare it my favorite restaurant and sing to the heavens.

But…

My “meat”loaf was dry and flavorless.  (They’re so stingy with the sauce!)  And it tastes strongly of flax.  My mushroom was okay–the nuts in the butternut stuffing added a nice crunch–but it was really expensive and not nearly enough to fill me.  And the spring pea salad was just…peas.  Nothing special, but very expensive.  The relatives that I dined with all had the same consensus.

One thing I did notice about the more “posh” NY buildings…they employ the clever use of mirrors to make their spaces look twice as big.  I was fooled more than once–then, upon realizing my mistake, I had fun snapping pictures.

From here you can see the sidewalk--who is walking where and what why gaaah??

From here you can see the sidewalk–who is walking where and what why gaaah??

Sadly enough, the *best* place we ate didn’t have competent lighting for my picturing–we stopped in for dinner on Saturday at Brick NYC (a happy accident–we were trying to go somewhere else that ended up being closed)–I ordered a mushroom risotto special that BLEW MY MIND (I had it for breakfast the next morning!)  and I snatched some bites of my grandmother’s eggplant parmesan and spaghetti (both perfect).  I would HIGHLY recommend Brick–it’s kinda high-level, but not terribly expensive! 😉

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And now, cue the random miscellaneous food pics.

new york 2 062Whole Foods (first time ever!)  on the last day–we were aiming for NYC pizza but were too pressed for time to track down a proper pizzeria.  So, golden tofu it was.  I really cannot explain my love for this tofu.  Everything else on the plate was okay, but my hearty recommendation if visiting Whole Foods is to EAT THE GOLDEN SESAME FRIED TOFU.

new york 2 045Aaaand gelato.  Always a good note to end on, verità?  (I am sorry Italians for butchering your language.)  (Yes, I saved the spoon.)  Perhaps it was solely because we had just been on the metal top deck of a tour bus for two hours in 95-degree heat, but this was perhaps one of the best frozen confections to ever pass my lips.  It was tiramisu flavored, but it tasted more like a caramel/toffee…either way, it was a very good plan. 🙂

WIAWWeirdly

Greetings, dear followers!

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*slow, creeping sort of manic smile begins to spread over face*

Happy Finals Season. Finals Season

I’m doing the best I possibly can  in regard to the May Shapeup, and my eating and exercise habits–I’ve hit a few rough patches, of course.  The “no processed sugar” thing has fallen wayward as I stay after school for study sessions, work on papers late into the night and early in the morning, and turn, usually, to Clif bars for my caloric needs.  I’ve been eating more processed foods than I originally planned for, as well, but the current circumstances make this rather unavoidable.   I’ve decided the healthiest thing I can do right now is not to dwell on this and just plow through my academics like the steady essay-writing ox private school has trained me to be.

I’ve striven to keep my produce intake pretty constant, and I have managed to bump it up, but with my mind in so many other places besides the shapeup these past few weeks, some interesting occurrences have–oh, well, you’ll see.

Breakfast DSCN0790 was Grape-Nuts and chia seeds.  And a repeat pic.  how exciting, right?  Yeah…I would love to boast a fantasmagorical oatmeal creation or something here, but seeing as I can’t eat oatmeal anymore and I don’t really have the time to fix up anything else…cereal it is.  Pretty healthy stuff, but…still.  I feel like I’ve failed as a food blogger here.

I did manage to squeeze in a green smoothie!  (It may have been spiked seasoned with a healthy dose of cocoa powder…that’s healthy, right?;) ) Fall ESST 021 Lunch

When the time to pack up came around, I was feeling more “snacky” than in the mood for a big meal, so I scavenged around in the (tragically depleted) fridge for a few fresh foods to throw together.  Here was the finished smorgasbord: DSCN1837Strawberries, pistachios…boiled eggs…and carrot sticks.  In the large container is milk.

As it turns out, though, I pulled a Ramona Quimby–the eggs I had grabbed were actually not from the carton labeled “Boiled” at all, but from the regular egg carton.  I only found this out, of course, when I went to crack one during lunch study hall and my carrots suddenly became engulfed in yolk… #epicfail.  This made me rather sad, as the carrot sticks had to be scrapped and I didn’t see how I was going to fit the protein I had planned on into this meal.  Luckily, a friend was there to save the day, when she suggested I simply scramble the eggs up with a fork and cook them in the microwave–!  It’s great having logical people to reinforce my genius. 😉

Even without the egg incident, this lunch was a pretty random combination, but I’m proud of myself; it was assembled with all fresh foods, and it kept me satisfied all through the afternoon.  Win-win!  (I’m just…still perturbed over the egg incident…I thought this only happened in middle grade literature…)

Afternoon Snack was rushed through (bad, bad) in the brief interim between school and physical therapy.  In fact, it was so rushed through I completely managed to forget it was WIAW, despite having blog on the brain at the time–I wolfed down a banana mixed with PB2, some more strawberries, and some almonds.  Just in case, for some bizarre reason, you don’t believe me, I managed to capture the remains for you: 😉 DSCN1840At PT, I was given a RUNNING ASSESSMENT, on the treadmill (!!!) along with some pointers for improving cadence, posture, foot strike, etc. (turns out I run like a total slob…I’m sorry, Physical Therapist.  I didn’t realize.)  The idea is that we may possibly bring home a treadmill sometime soon–I can work on my technique, and maybe get back to running in earnest in about a month..?  EEP!  =D  Really, I owe it all to Kiss My Broccoli–obviously her good vibes sent my way have payed off!

La Cena was taco salad, prepared with romaine, avocado, salsa, black beans, and tortilla strips.  Totally clean, healthy, and FAST!  🙂  But because it was hastily prepared, it was not the most aesthetically pleasing supper ever, so instead, you get an Instagram pic of our Mother’s Day meal over the weekend that I think turned out rather well–

Because, as you undoubtedly have noticed, not only have I run out of time to prepare elaborate meals, I’ve also stopped trying in terms of my photography.  Bad, BAD TGITO!!  I’m sorry.  Blog should not be this way.  But it is, as I continue to profess, rather unavoidable.

Off to do some studying, “reflecting”, research compiling, and essay writing–wish me luck in my scholarly endeavors!  I’m feeling a little snacky again now, so this WIAW might not be  completely over–not that I will have time to post an update! 😉

–The Girl in the Orange

WIAW(hile I was in Mexico)

I know I probably bored you guys to death with my last post about my spring vacation, with pictures of turtles and zip lines, for goodness’ sake.  I know I almost fell asleep just compiling it.  The most important part of a vacation is OBVIOUSLY la comida, verdad?  Winking smile


Eating in Mexico was something I anxiously anticipated—in both good and bad ways.  I was excited to sample a new cuisine, one that wasn’t too “exotic” but certainly made staples of some new-to-me foods; on the other hand I had also heard that Mexican food is notorious for being prepared in not-so-sanitary conditions… :/  Sure enough, I’m still experiencing some, erm, gastrointestinal difficulties now, three days back in the states.  It could be residual motion sickness, but I have my doubts…

Breakfasts

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The resort we stayed at, for all I badmouthed it in my previous vacation post, had a quite abundant buffet selection at all restaurants—something GREATLY APPRECIATED.  I made a point of sampling all fare before concocting a relatively standard breakfast plate that looked something like this:

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That would be fried plantains, sauteed/smoked veggies, some papaya and pineapple slices.  This particular plate was compiled on our first day in the resort, when I really had no idea what options they had and just tried to sample all the vegetable matters (typical TGITO)—most days after that I also ate a bit of cottage cheese or yogurt, for protein, plus a bread roll with butter on the side for the lovely carbohydrate fullness factor.  There were also scrambled eggs and refried beans available daily for protein—but I wasn’t sure whether said refried beans were cooked with lard or bacon or whatnot (I think they often are), and I stayed away from the eggs completely except for two days, even though I consumed dairy, because—I know vegans will hate me for this (as it is, one of my vegetarian friends calls it bovine discrimination)— it vexes me more to think of a bird like a chicken being maltreated in a factory farm than a cow. *winces* I’M SORRY DON’T JUDGE!!  I’m still eating low on the food chain and doing my best to reduce my intake of animal products.

Over the vacation I discovered a DEEP affinity for fried plantains—I’m already trying to figure out how I can bring the tasty exoticness to me own kitchen! Smile

There were plenty of non-fried fruit options, too—I made a point to eat my fill of the more exotic fruits that aren’t exactly abundant in the Pacific NW: papaya, pineapple, mango, guava…

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And hey, I found some green at the juice bar! ;P  I think this was billed as cactus-pineapple..?  Bottoms up!

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THIS soupy atrocity was billed as oatmeal.

*sniffs disdainfully*

THIS soupy ABOMINATION tasted like oversugared milk with some ground flaxseeds thrown in and flavored with a healthy gust of cigarette smoke.

Never trust foreign oatmeal.  Bah.

Lunches

It has finally dawned on me why some vegetarians are just about medically sick of salad bars.

Mexi Salad Collage

MAN were those things abundant.

And that’s just the 2/7 of it.

Yes folks, I’m talking SALAD BAR FOR LUNCH SALAD BAR FOR DINNER EVERY SINGLE STINKING DAY OF VACATION.

The “authentic Mexican ensalada” (the largest picture) was better in terms of nonmonotony, because there were actually cucumbers and rice and tortillas and guacamole and pico de gallo and “blended beans” and things.  (Though by the end of the trip I even got sick of tortillas, pico de gallo, and guacamole.)

I put up with it for the majority of the trip, grateful there was food that I could eat and that I knew I could eat.  The salad bars weren’t short on variety, either—there were beats, roasted potatoes, cheeses, peppers, olives, spanikopita cubes one night (at a restaurant whose menu proudly dubbed it a “Mediterran Restaurant”…cringe city!  They had pasta.  And sauce.  And salad and bread.  I ask you, where’s the hummus??  The baba ghannouj?  The flatbread??), and, as mentioned, LOTS of pico de gallo and guacamole.  So I tolerated this until Thursday, two days before we flew back, and decided I COULD NOT. EAT. ANY. MORE. SALAD.  Unfortunately this proclamation also coincided with the night the family dragged me to a steakhouse for dinner…in the hopes of non-leafy food, I informed the waiter I was veggie…his response?

“Oh…oops.”

Oops indeed.

I ate two bowls of cream of tomato soup and lots of cake that night.

Proper (Non-leafy) Dinners

There were a grand total of three of these, one including the aforementioned soup and cake that did not manage to be photographed—the first was when we visited a Mexican restaurant (fancy that).  I’m just glad they were actually able to whip up something edible THERE…I would have had a bone to pick with them otherwise.  (You know, like, a Tofurky bone.)

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I enjoyed a plate of appetizer enchiladas filled with cheese, sauce, and creamed spinach for my main meal.  I visited the salad bar too—this was pre-Salad Independence Declaration. Winking smile  Mi abuelo ordered a plate of these as well, only filled with bell peppers instead of creamed spinach, which for some infathomable reason she could not finish—I was able to polish off half that in addition to my meal!  PROPER FOOD FOUND!

On Friday night, our resort hosted an “authentic Mexican feast”, in which I finally managed to find some things NOT leafy and some yummy desserts.  (A little disconcerting was the row of whole fish that were propped upright on the buffet table, empty eye sockets staring ahead while people picked at their flesh…*shudders*)

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Sliced melon, rice and beans, and a little fried corncake curiosity that seemed to be filled with cheese and shredded lettuce, but I couldn’t be certain.  It was dry but somewhat tasty…

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Dessert was flan (which was not as sweet as I expected—just tasted like non-savory eggs baked on top of a graham crust??), a buñuelo, and some rice pudding.  Honestly…I liked the rice pudding the best.  How exotic of me.

In-Betweens

which were snacks, desserts, late-night munchies, etc.

On the plane ride back, our airline actually had little squeeze-packs of hummus Open-mouthed smile, accompanied by pita chips and packages of olives.  I decimated two of these as a kind of makeshift dinner, along with some Trader Joe’s PB Granola bars.

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But BEFORE vacation was over, as I mentioned in my last post, lots of glorious chocolate happened!  This stuff is special Mexican chocolate, with the cacao beans grown right there to minimize bean-to-bar time…it wasn’t as good as I would have liked it to be. Sad smile

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The omnipresent banana—HAH.  I ended up stealing a lot of bananas from the resort buffet in order to take back to the room for later snackage…I had a jar of PB2 and a container+spoon to mix it up back there. Winking smile

Speaking of exotic fruits…

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Our fruit tray in our room contained more than the usual banana, peach and apple….I’m not sure what these things were, in fact, and there was nobody to ask!  The upper, yellow one was soft and creamy, and smelled a little bit like a boozy pineapple—I wasn’t sure whether you could eat the seeds, though, and boy were there a lot of those, so it ended up being scrapped. Sad smile

The orange one looked like this inside

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which was kind of disconcerting.  Mother Dearest said it was moldy—I didn’t think it was, but I couldn’t figure out how to eat it either!  Also trashed.  Food waste is bad times.

(Anyone??  Has anyone ever encountered these mystery fruits?  Anyone know the names?)

So, yes, there was the healthy dose of exotic; new-to-me foods sampled included fried plantains, jicama, papaya, mango, “corncake curiosity”, flan, buñuelos, and mole sauce.  Alongside all this, though, there was

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Some things never change.

WIAW: Clean out the Fridge!

Whew!  Hello beautiful readers!  Sorry for the radio silence over the past week; I was too busy living this awesome life I’ve been given.

^That’s my new standard excuse.  Who has the nerve to argue with that? 🙂

What I Ate Wednesday is the perfect catalyst to get back into blogging and this wonderful creative process…who doesn’t love a linkup?  This WIAW will also be UNIQUE, because of the happy proximity of Spring Break!–dontcha wish you were still in school, adults? :)–and thus, VACATIONS.  The only things I DON’T like about vacations are the plane descents–my Eustachian tubes always feel like they’re going to actually explode!  It doesn’t help that I recently read a story about a man whose eardrum “actually exploded (during a plane descent), spurting blood onto the white shirt of the passenger next to him”…

That unsavory prospect aside, I’ve been known to enjoy some atypical things about traveling.  For one: airports!  I was sharing this at school last week and was shocked to learn that other people don’t hallow these beautiful places like I do…I could spend all my life in an airport!  It’s so poetic; just a hub of diverse humanity, people arriving and leaving, people from here and people from o’er yonder, all mingling in one location with the awesome moving walkways… sorry, small-town-hick that I am, I never cease to be impressed by these things!

Second unconventional traveling love: clean-out-the-fridge eats.  Nothing encourages culinary creativity like having to use up EVERYTHING!  So, without further ado, today’s:

Breakfast

Heavy strength training yesterday for stress busting=EGGS for breakfast today!  I was craving both sweet AND savory, so I brewed up some chocolate tea and whipped up a scramble with sauteed onions and eggs, added in some spinach, and heaped it all (not the tea) onto a wonderfully overflowing Trader Joe’s whole wheat hotdog bun.  Accompanying the sammich was an unpictured apple.

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Eh…none too pretty.

Tupperware Time

The only thing I would do differently about WIAW if I hosted it would be to have it fall on a day other than Wednesday!  I mean…on the weekends, say, I can actually take the time to make my food look decent and presentable, whereas school days are a mess of mass microwaving, random combinations, and boxing things up as fast as possible.  Oh well…at least it’s more exciting..? 🙂

Like Laura, I consider it a personal failure if no one gives me a strange look when I take out my lunch for the day.  This has already happened twice this week with my latest combo…

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Yes, I plated this (or tried to) on purpose…the tupperware was killing me! No aesthetic pleasure WHATSOEVER…

A baked microwaved sweet potato STUFFED with almonds (for a lack of almond butter…) and sprinkled with mass cinnamon!  Dessert for lunch!

Oh, but don’t think that stopped me from packing a REAL sweet treat–

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That would be yogurt topped with sliced banana, cocoa powder and stevia.

Alongside these sweet-tooth-satiaters, I packed some leftovers of Oh She Glows’ Roasted Buddha Bowl I whipped up a few days ago…too bad I picked out and ate most of the chickpeas on the first night! ;P

Yummmm...

Yummmm…

Spork time! ;P

Spork time! ;P

Some mooching sharing of my friend’s chocolate occurred at lunchtime as well. 😉

Snackage

I’m always STARVING when I get home.  My after-school snack is usually something of a small fourth meal–I need ENERGY to power me through workouts, homework, cooking and blogging!  Today I was craving the cheese something fierce, so I whipped myself up a little quesadilla with shredded cheddar and spinach.

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See, you can tell my tortilla is healthy…it has seeds in it.

Dinner was the remains final leftovers of the Buddha Bowl…

Yummmm...Why, yes, that is the same picture as for my lunch serving…don’t look now, folks!

More yogurt and a handful of almonds (both unpictured) happened after dinner as well.

Now I just need to eat my way through one more head of broccoli, a carton of milk, some sour cream, some pumpkin, greens…we’ll be off without leaving a trail of food waste in our wake!  Man, if there’s one thing I absolutely HATE, it’s perfectly good, nutritious food going to waste…

 

 

–The Girl in the Orange

WIAW: Spring Cleaning

Somehow, in all The Girl in the Orange’s seven months in existence as a mainly-food blog, I have yet to write up or publish a What I Ate Wednesday Post.

Now, this isn’t to say that I haven’t done a WIAW-style post, but I have never posted them on Wednesday or referred to them as WIAW, preferring to dub them ESSTs (every single stankin’ thang [I ate]), and I have never linked up to the lovely founder of the WIAW linkup party, Peas and Crayons.  Now I am righting this wrong on TGITO for the first time–can you believe, I used to have a food blog without a single WIAW post!!–and shall proceed with the actual content of this WIAW post. 😉

Over the past few weeks, with stress over scholarship exams, school plays, and a whole slew of other things, I’ve been having some sugar issues.  By sugar, I usually mean chocolate…but it has gotten really bad over the past few months, so much so that I’ve strayed away from my typical fix of choice, 72% chocolate, and have been turning to baked goods of all sorts, even my own private stash of Kit-Kat bars and white chocolate..!  The more stressed I get (not being able to run does not help with this issue), the more justification I seem to find in ingesting copious amounts of the sweet stuff.  The more sugar I eat, the more “buzz” I have, but not being able to run and thus having no outlet for this “buzz” only adds to my stress, so…I bet you can guess what happens next.  It’s a vicious cycle.

I let myself indulge for just a little longer at the play’s cast party last Saturday, but when I woke up on Sunday I declared that I was officially going off the crap again for as long as necessary.  Along with healthy eating habits, regular exercising habits had also been cast to the wayside as performance night drew increasingly nearer and the internet became increasingly more beckoning… I decided that this week I will make a VERY CONSCIOUS effort to eat whole foods, things that give my body nutrients and natural energy, and to exercise 6 days out of 7, doing my best to continue this process as my schedule starts getting hectic again.  I’m halfway through the week now, and I do declare I’m doing fine. 🙂

Breakfast

My go-to “clean” and whole-foods breakfast is a nice big warm bowl of plain oatmeal with flaxseeds and nut butter and maybe some fruit…but lately some…uncomfortable TMI things have been happening when I eat oatmeal!  I’m always starving for the rest of the day, too, so I’m pretty sure I’m not absorbing ANYTHING from oatmeal, calories, nutrients, or otherwise.  This is something of a world-shattering piece of horrendous news for me, seeing how much I adore the stuff..if you need any further convincing, see my oatmeal tips.  I am so dang deicated to porridge that I wrote up a whole post on the subject, convincing all you skeptics out there as to its undying glory!!

Okay, okay, oatmeal rant over.

In lieu of oats, I started my day out with a bowl of the oldie-but-goodie Post Grape Nuts cereal, topped with milk and chia seeds.

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And peanut butter on a spoon.  Even if I can’t eat oatmeal, peanut butter is the quintessential breakfast food.  You guys have already seen peanut butter on a spoon, though; thus, the repeat pic.

DSCN0211Lunch packing was an epic affair, punctuated by an unexpected efflux of moulted cockatiel feathers from the front pouch of my lunch box (I think they were for an art project…), a discovered moldy tupperware container from weeks past, and sadly rotten avocadoes.  Somehow, I managed to throw together a decent meal, though.

For the “main course”, I stuffed a pita pocket with homemade baba ghannouj (THE MOST disgusting color–I’m sorry!!) and some salad mix, to, you know, camouflage the color add nutrients and fiber.

DSCN0793  This was accompanied by a reusable cloth “plastic baggie” filled with grapes, and some milk in a thermos.

DSCN0795 This girl loves her dairy.

I also threw in a stick of mint gum–baba ghannouj is garlicky stuff!–and, oh, it looks like some Trader Joe’s fair trade 72% chocolate snuck its way in there too. 😉  Hey, it’s chock-full of antioxidants and iron!  Low sugar!  It’s “clean” enough for me.

I packed an apple for an afternoon snack, and off I went!

All together now...note the veggies getting prepared for bird in the background.  Baha.

All together now…note the veggies getting prepared for bird in the background. Baha.

It turns out some, uh, interesting stuff happened today that unfortunately postponed the consumption of this delicious lunch until about 1 o’ clock, but that’s a story for another post.

After about an hour of concentrated homework-work, I felt like I needed a light snack before exercising, so I took yet another pita pocket (loves me some pita) and filled it with the awesomeness that is roasted tahini.

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I took about another half-hour to digest and finish up History homework, and then I was at the mercy of Jillian Michaels for half an hour.  “Yoga Meltdown”.  Man…when she says “leave it all at the gym”, I think she’s referring to your stomach contents as well…

I chugged some Trader Joe’s kefir after exercising.  Straight out of the carton!  I guess it has a lot of protein and good bacteria.  I had the “plain” kind, which I enjoyed, but then again I do enjoy eating plain yogurt all on its own, which is exactly what it tastes like.  I dunno.

Mother Dearest was kind enough to whip up omelettes for dinner (the name sounds so deliciously fanciful), owing to my scratched cornea and splitting headache (oops, I guess I just kind of told you what happened today) and I always request mine no milk, no cheese, just lots of veggies. Yay for post-workout protein! 🙂

DSCN0818This was accompanied by a plain baked potato, which is not photogenic at all, thus its absence.  And, you know, I think some dark chocolate happened again as well. 😉

Last, but not least:

DSCN0817No, I did NOT drink a quadruple-strength mug of black tea at 7 PM on a school night!  This is for a history project in which I am “aging” paper (staining it with the tea until it looks…aged), which should be exciting.

Ah, happy hump day!  Here’s to a week of eating CLEAN and sweating DIRTY!!!

ESST #3: Pre-5k

I don’t do things halfway.

Sometimes I think that over the course of yesterday and today, I tended to forget the fact that I’m not running a marathon here–I’m just doing a lowly 5k.  3.1 miles, big whoop.  But the perfectionist part of me was busy insisting that if there was something, ANYTHING I could do pre-race to help me race my best, then, of course, I would do it!  So yesterday (my race is today!!!) I indulged in the self-made excuse to eat pretty much nothing but carbs and protein! 🙂  Apparently this will keep my glycogen levels high and give me energy during the race…not that you can really “bonk” over the course of 3.1 miles, but, it never hurts to be prepared… 😉

So, for breakfast yesterday, I whipped up some Banana Custard Oats (custard oats have an egg in them for extra protein, and they don’t taste gross), recipe courtesy of Holly the Healthy Everythingtarian.

These really looked and tasted like banana creme pie as I made them up, and I was tempted to dollop some whipped cream and sugar on top.  This was breakfast, though, so I settled for a glob of good ol’ PB.

And I made up a really awful pun as I was cooking this…

Q:  Why was the chef afraid to pick up the utensil?

A: It was a BIG WHISK!!!

HA-HA-Ha-Ha…ha…

(Please say it out loud if you don’t get it.  It’s not really funny even if you do get it, but humor me, and say it out loud.  Pretend you’re Tweety Bird.  That should help too.)

I actually used a small whisk to cook these with. 🙂

I did Christine Felstead’s Yoga for Runners DVD a few hours after breakfast–like I said, anything and everything that can help me run better.  Following it, I was hungry, so I had a yummy pear from our backyard, with more peanut buttah.  Both ugly, both brown, so no picture foh you.

Lunch was this weird thing… (a lot of my lunches seem to fall into that category)

Local roasted butternut squash, veg refried beans from a can, and a tortilla.  Served with a glass of millk. It was too small for the plate, unfortunately, so you guys are stuck with this cruddy pic.

(Related aside: if someone wants to know what my favorite color is [I mean, specifically, not just orange], it’s the color of roasted butternut squash.  It’s kind of tangerine-y, really bold and rich. <3)

I was still hungry after this, so I pulled a muffin out of the freezer (yay, more carbs!)…

…and somehow didn’t manage to get a single in-focus picture of it.  😦  Boo!  I mentioned in my last post that I wanted some props for food photos, but also on my wish list?  A cheap ol’ tripod!!  It wouldn’t have to be fancy–I think I’ll ask for one of those Gorillapods, or something even cheaper–I just need something sturdier than my elbows, which is almost everything in this world.

These muffins were baked a couple of months ago to celebrate Citrus’ hatchday :), from a recipe on The Bright-Eyed Baker.  They’re pretty good for you as far as muffins go, and they have seeds (cuz Citrus is a bird) and Citrus flavor (the lemon)!!  I thought they were perfect.

I went for a twenty minute run after a few hours of alternating between doing homework and working on my novel, because 1.) I was feeling like a bum after sitting down for so long, and 2.) I wanted to feel a bit warmed up for today’s race.  So I went out and did a brisk twenty minutes…ending with dog poo splattered all up the back of my running capris.  #epicfail

With capris in the washer, I decided to break out the heavy artillery…

chocolate milk is rumored to have the ideal blend of protein and carbs for post-workout recovery!!  Like I keep saying, I wanted all the insurance I could get. 😉

Dinner was very carby as well–

veggie pasta with peas, and Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheeze sauce from Oh She Glows.

It occurs to me that I’d most likely starve without the internet.

Later on at night, I snacked on some “Crispy Stix” of some sort that I picked up at the airport last weekend.  They are a triple threat for “weird foodies” like me, containing almonds, raisins, and seaweed.  Of course I had to try a bag.

The flavor combination is, in short, curious.  It’s kind of fun, but I don’t love it.

This morning, I was a wee bit thrown off by the time change, but I welcomed a breakfast of Peanut Butter Pancakes from, fittingly, Peanut Butter Fingers.

Topped with maple syrup (FTW!) and a ~tsp of chia seeds (they’re supposed to be hydrating).

(Deep breath)…Okay.  Here I go.  I’ve got carbs in my tummah and I’m off.

Wish me luck!! 🙂

(Mostly) Healthy Eating in the Happiest Place on Earth

Behold, my awe-inspiring rap skills:

My school was havin’ a half-day

So we dropped everything and flew to LA

And we knew everything was gonna be okay

(Though things did get a little cray-cray

In the house of the Mouse himself, Mick-ay!).

You know you love me.

The rap holds true.  If you’ve been wondering, the reason for my week-long hiatus from the blogosphere was due to a family vacation to none other than Disneyland, the self-proclaimed Happiest Place on Earth!  Yes, for four days, I became The Girl in the Orange County, California. 😉  I’m a huge fan of all things roller coaster, so that was my primary source of excitement on this trip (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, yeah!),  but I was also looking forward to just taking a break from the “real world” and letting the magic of the Magic Kingdom settle in over me.  (And I would also get to meet Mickey Mouse.  This makes me a very happy girl.)

I’ve told you guys that I’m a vegetarian and the rest of my family is not.  I’m also much more health-oriented than the rest of my family.  So, while a Disneyland vacation was undoubtedly going to be fun, there was the awful looming question over my head for the entire plane ride there…

What am I going to eat?

I wasn’t sure.  I hadn’t heard good things about food in Disneyland for people who don’t want to live off of Mickey waffles and ice cream bars.  So, I came prepared.  Mother Dearest, who “worries about me starving”, purchased me some sustenance from the magical realm of the supermarket… 2 Corazonas oatmeal squares, 1 Earnest Eats baked whole food bar, and three strips of Primal “jerky”.  Aw yeah all you fellow teen vegheads, you wish you had my mom right now. 😉 

I was really excited to try the seitan jerky (I’ve only ever had the soy before), but still can’t really get over the fact that it sounds like Satan… (gulp).

I also packed some homemade fruit leather  and some Clif Z-Bars. And some roasted squash seeds in a Trader Joe’s yogurt container.  In case you were wondering, you can bring that on the plane with you! ;D  I was a bit nervous that the TSA would think they were a yogurt bomb or something.  You never know.

If any of you guys were wondering, here are my Disneyland eats, purely so you can see what options there were in the Magic Kingdom.  And also because I’m a little bit nerdy like that. ;P How can I take a vacation and not blog about the food I ate?

Day 1:

This was mostly a day of travel.  We flew with a new airline, Virgin America, which was pretty awesome.  The inside of the plane was purple, peoples!  As opposed to the ugly aggressive flourescent lighting usually found in aircraft.  How can you not have fun on a purple plane ride?!  It totally made my day!  Well, that, and the interactive screen on the headrest in front of me that allowed me to read books and watch movies and television (you had to pay extra for sound though).  And we weren’t even in first class!

We got seated down for dinner at about 9 o’ clock, which was SUUPER late for me to be eating dinner, and my appetite was pretty much shot.  I knew I had to eat something, though, because my mood was plummeting into the dangerous lands of snarky hypoglycemia (I think it had been eight hours since I last ate).  We were at the restaurant inside our hotel, Garden Court Bistro.  I ordered a plate of linguini primavera to be split with Mother Dearest.  This was full of broccoli cooked soft, ‘spiralized’ carrots and zucchini, as well as gobs of sun-dried tomatoes.  It was served alongside a sourdough bread basket and some crunchy herb cracker/wafer things.  All in all, it was a pretty decent dinner, especially when sprinkled with the provided parmesan cheese, but, you know, nothing to write home about.

(My sincerest apologies for the travel point-and-shoot photography. Sigh.)

I still wasn’t sure about how many options I would have food-wise in the park the next day, so I decided that, even though I wasn’t really hungry, I should eat a lot so I wouldn’t be starved the next day.  😉  It makes sense in my world…

Day 2:

The air practically stuck to us when we woke from our very restful seven hours of sleep (on the comfiest bed ever!), and, as per my ‘strategy’, I wasn’t really hungry for breakfast.  We ended up walking to a little gift shop inside the hotel called California Deli, and I bought a packet of Cheerios, a little carton of milk, and an apple.  (They actually had oranges!–but they looked pale and squishy.  Sad face.)  I found out too late that they actually had oatmeal on the menu (!!!), but it was much too hot to even consider that sort of thing.  They also probably put brown sugar in it or something.  (sniffs) Which would be tragic.  I am an Oatmeal Purist. We decided that we would ‘do’ California Adventure rather than actual Disneyland for this day, and to appease Little Bro, we had to hit up Cars Land first thing.  The longest line was only 70 minutes, which, for Disney, is pretty sweet!  I also enjoy how, when waiting in line at the parks, you’re provided with a ton of different structures to wander through as you slowly snake your way closer to the actual ride.  Mental stimulation, yeah! My appetite picked up as we stood in line for our first ride (Radiator Springs Racers ;)), and so I snacked on some pumpkin seeds.

Yes, I was That Girl.  The one who brought their own hydration pack (a fancy term for a fanny pack used to carry water when running long-distance, which also has a convenient pouch for snackage) to Disneyland so they could have readily accessible water and provisions on hand (er, hip) at all times.  I wasn’t taking any chances with my food, you see.  This was serious business. I managed to mow down two of my fruit leathers before lunchtime, but the whole family was seriously hungry by eleven-thirty.

We swung by a pasta-pizza-salad place on Paradise Pier, and I was thrilled to find a Portobello-Spinach Flatbread pizza.  The crust, being flatbread, didn’t stick with me that long, but the toppings were pretty good, as far as amusement-park pizza goes! My family was surprised that I managed to eat a whole personal pizza (I usually have such a tiny stomach), but, when I’m hungry, I get serious, people.  Let’s not underestimate me here.  The restaurant also served entree salads, which didn’t sound filling enough (sorry salad!) and side salads, which sounded like too much food in addition to the whole pizza, but my sources (aka parents) tell me they were pretty good.  All manner of beverages, applesauces and cheese sticks were also served.

Lo and behold, within half and hour of finishing this I was hungry again, 😉 (should have gotten the side salad!), so I ripped into one of my seitan jerkies in my fanny pack hydration pack.

The verdict on the “jerky”?  I didn’t notice any change in the texture from the soy jerky, but the Terriyaki flavor was definitely different from the Hickory Smoked.   Funny thing, it didn’t even really taste like terriyaki…more like, um, cinnamon-sugar.  Which was weird.  Not bad, but…not terriyaki.  (I doubt the jerky would sell very well if they advertised it as cinnamon-sugar.)  Maybe it was the licorice root that did it..?

After hitting a few more of the rides (California Screamin’, anyone?  It was INTENSE), we retired back to our hotel for a midafternoon siesta.    My feet were aching and my brain was whirring and my eyes were closing and This was heavenly.  I seriously wish my school had a ‘Napping’ elective course.  I would totally sign up.

We woke at about four and took the shuttle to Downtown Disney to eat dinner at Rainforest Cafe.  I was one hungry, hungry hippo while waiting the hour it took for our food to come.  My dad said he was surprised I didn’t eat the table in my anticipation.  Thankfully, I ordered SALAD! GLORIOUS SALAD!  You know what the best thing about salad is?  It comes BEFORE your meal so you get food in your tummah EARLIER. The salad was served with a hunk of fluffy herb bread (I think it had thyme in it, maybe?) that was probably the best ‘real’ food (read: not chocolate) I ate during the whole trip.  Seriously nummy stuff!  The salad itself was pretty good too.

Later, my main course was delivered, which consisted of a ‘natural’ burger made with chickpeas and topped with guacamole, and a big ol’ serving of potato chips on the side.  The potato chips were given to parents and I dove into the burger. My critical review:  Let me just put out there the fact that most restaurants don’t know how to make a good veggie burger.  (There is such a thing!)  And the Rainforest Cafe is one of them.  Sorry.  It’s sad but true.  However, the guac on top was pretty good, and the burger was okay when given my special ‘mustard treatment’. 😉  I ate the bun on its own (don’t judge) and it was actually, in the words of Mickey Mouse, pretty swell!  It was kind of sweet, like a roll, and it was all swirly and had a cute little “bellybutton” on top! 😀

…have you ever been to a Rainforest Cafe?

If you have, you know there is One Dessert that you cannot leave without ordering.  Even the healthy-eating queen yours truly could not resist the awesome tempting power of rich chocolate brownie, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, hot fudge ‘lava’ trickling down, all topped off with a sparkler. This is the VOLCANO.

The title of this post was (Mostly) Healthy Eating, right? 😉  I think this little splurge was worth it to enjoy my favorite dessert while on vacation.  The volcano is really da bomb.

The ‘After’ plate…

After we all set our spoons down in bliss, my dad proclaimed, “Why can’t they make zucchini taste like that?  I would become a vegetarian.”  Ah, if only he knew of the wonders of vegetables…

In addition to the food I ate, some other veggie options I found in the California Adventure park include: a tofu stir-fry bowl, all manner of entree salads, and cheese pizza.

Day 3:

My breakfast on Saturday was the same boring combination as the previous day.  Sorry about that. 😉

I must have been looking pretty that day or something, because as we waited in line for Adventureland in the Disneyland park, a few cast members came up to us and asked if we would like to help open the park!!  We got to put on Mickey gloves (you have to cram five fingers into four openings) and got to wave to all the lowly guests walking by.  Later on, the cast members escorted us to the Jungle Cruise, where we got to ride on our own personal boat, no other passengers!  We were feeling pretty awesome by the time that was over. 🙂 Probably because I devoured a fourth of a volcano the previous day, my appetite was AWOL when lunch rolled around.  However, I know enough about myself to know that if I’m not hungry at a mealtime, it means I’ll be famished later and I better eat something anyway.  We were in our hotel’s restaurant again, and I ordered an Asian Chicken Salad, sans chicken.  It included lettuce, mango, almond slivers, poppy and sesame seeds, a mandarin orange vinaigrette, and crispy fried sticks of some sort. It was an interesting combination.  Not bad, but, like most things I ate on the trip, nothing to write home about.  (Though I’ll be the first to admit I’m a pretty tough food critic.  It takes a lot to make me pronounce something delicious.)  After the salad, I ate another jerky strip to make up for the protein I was missing out on by opting out of the chicken.

Another nap ensued.  Not quite as long as the previous day’s, but equally blissful.  If only I hadn’t woken up after an hour because of hunger!

The hunger that had evaded me all throughout lunch suddenly hit me full force and I was rifling through our suitcase as quietly as possible so as not to disturb sleeping family, but very frantically.  The first thing I happened upon was a Corazonas Banana Walnut Oatmeal square.  I really didn’t want to take the time to photograph it, but I love you guys, so here:

Even though you probably don’t care what the wrapper looked like.

Review:  I was kinda expecting this to taste like banana bread, and it didn’t, therefore I was sad.  😦  It wasn’t nearly as sweet as I was expecting, which I’m normally okay with, but…it just doesn’t taste like banana bread.  I don’t know why I’m so bent out of shape about this; it ISN’T banana bread, it’s a healthy breakfast bar, so why am I expecting it to taste like dessert?  This question shall go unanswered.  I just probably wouldn’t buy this bar again.  The texture is quite dry, as well, not like the moister Clif bars that I like so much.

And then something tragic happened.  My stomach started hurting. :/  It was pretty awful, and I thought I was going to hurl.  I hate to admit this, but I think it was the homemade fruit leather I ate the previous day!  I usually keep it in the freezer so there’s no danger of it molding, but when I ate it it had been sitting in the suitcase for a couple of days… 😦 Not good.  I was pretty panicky.  There’s a toxic fungus that can grow on fruit preserves…thankfully I avoided death!!  Moral of the story: you’d better dehydrate your leathers ALL THE WAY or else eat them straight from the freezer, unless you like dying.

I needed something to calm my nausea, so I ended up walking down to the deli and buying a banana, something I knew would sit well on my stomach.  An hour later, I was feeling better, but still didn’t really want to go out.  We ordered in Mexican food from a nearby restaurant called Mi Casa Mexicana.  I had a large veggie burrito stuffed with beans, rice, and cheese, potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and bell pepper.  For $4.99, it was probably the best entree I’ve eaten on the trip, which was kind of sad. ;P  You never know which places will have the best food!

Why does it look so bland??

Other vegetarian options spotted on Day 3 include: a portobello couscous ragout, vegetarian chili in a bread bowl (much too hot for that though!), broccoli and cheddar cheese soup in a bread bowl, more tofu stir-fries, minestrone soup and salad, gnocchi,  an eggplant parmigiana sandwich, cheese quesadillas, build-your-own pizzas, fettucini alfredo and fettucini with mushrooms.

Bottom line: You can eat a relatively healthy vegetarian diet in Disneyland and the surrounding area.  As long as you’re okay with salad and you’re not too picky! 😉  Whole grains are elusive, but fruits and veggies are plentiful.  A vegan diet will be a bit more challenging, but, hey, it’s Disneyland; they cater to everyone.  If you’re staying for more than a day,  I would recommend bringing some “backup protein”, such as nuts and seeds or jerky strips like moi.  Enjoy your vacation. 🙂

ESST #2: Reset Weekend

(See here for my first ESST if you have no idea what it is I’m talking about.)

Last week was heinously stressful for me.  I’m sure I mentioned this.  Not only was the week itself heinously stressful, but the awful events preceding said week kind of snatched my weekend away from me, and so I lived in a husk of stress and confusion for a full seven days.  My grades suffered, the social life I pretend I have went kaput, and I ate too many awful things for my taste.  See, when I get really stressed, for some reason I convince myself that the only thing that can ease my frazzled nerves is to eat chocolate.  Specifically rich, dark, Belgian, organic fair-trade 72% chocolate.  This is all very well and good.  Only it kills my appetite.  There is nothing more stressful to me than not being hungry!  How on earth will I have room for my next meal of deliciousness?!

My thought processes go all out of whack, skewed by adrenaline and chocolatey theobromine, and I convince myself that I will feel better, even back to normal, if I eat A Dinner Of Utter Healthiness.  I also convince myself that there is no time to be wasted by actually cooking something, pssh.   So I end up with these atrocious, random combinations that make me want to puke but that I eat anyway.  (Hint: boiled overripe squash, raw tofu, and ketchup isn’t something you want to try out.  Ever.)  I eat it anyway because I cook for myself, and if I cook something appalling then, well, by golly, I just have to suck up and eat it!  After doing such things as this I convince myself that my taste buds will be cleansed from the awful scourge of my last meal if I eat more chocolate… and, well, it just goes downhill from there.

I just really, really, REALLY needed a break from last week.

I dubbed this weekend my “Reset Weekend”.  For me, it was all about getting my healthy eating back on track (during the school week I’ve been increasingly relying on prepackaged, sugary carbs rather than, say, veggies, because they’re more readily available) while still not eating nasties.  I also needed to show myself some LOVE; when I’m stressed I tend to be really hard on myself.  (I’m no worse of a person just because I cooked something awful!)  And today, it worked!  I’m smiling again.  Order has been restored in the world of The Girl in the Orange.

I kick-started the day with a ‘Chunky Monkey’ green smoothie, consisting of a banana, 2T of natural peanut butter, milk, a couple good handfuls of spinach, and a serving of extra-firm tofu.  (It was ‘Chunky Monkey’ because the similar ice cream flavor also involves pb and nanas, a match made in heaven.  If only I’d thought to add chocolate!..)

Meh…this picture just oozes bleariness.  I am sorry.  I think I was half asleep even as I was throwing everything into a blender.

I just realized that in both of my ESST’s I’ve started breakfast with a smoothie made with tofu–don’t worry, most vegetarian’s don’t do this.  There is no need to eat tofu on a vegetarian diet if you are repulsed by it, and certainly not at breakfast!  I actually enjoy tofu, but the only times I think I’ve actually HAD a tofu smoothie are the days I’ve done ESST’s…strange.

The smoothie was chased down by a mug of peppermint tea…

…which looks normal from this angle…

…but TOTALLY AWESOME when your camera decides to focus on the overhead lights shining into it!!

Snack (before hitting up the thrift store for Halloween material) was two lovely, humble pears.

Plus a glass of milk–not pictured.  Milk is a boring subject.

Lunch was an improvised salad bowl containing romaine lettuce, quinoa, and homemade (though not by me) garden-fresh salsa!  I probably ate about three of these bowls…random combo, muy delicioso.

This held me over until about 2:30, at which point I ate a homely humble cornbread muffin.  This certainly helped to put me in the Fall mood–cornbread is magic like that, wonderfully rustic.

I was planning to save this muffin to eat with the soup I would be making later today, but…oh, well.

And then dinner was an improvised soup (one of the many reasons soup is my favorite food–you can dump whatever you want in it and it’s always great!) cooked with our surplus of garden pattypan squash.

Um, it’s better than this photo makes it look..?  Seriously, this was very nummy in my tummy.  I haven’t had homemade soup in so long!  Perhaps the photo would be better without the big glob of gooey parmesan in the middle of the soup…but, come on, who’s going to pass that up, right? 😉

ESST #1

So, something I’ve been seeing around the food blog world is a little segment called “What I Ate Wednesday” (WIAW).  To participate, you write a full post, with pictures about every single stankin’ thang you ate a particular day of the week, and post it on Wednesday.  In doing so, you get to share your food creations (and epic fails…) with the food blog world and also practice your food photography skills.  While The Girl in the Orange isn’t exclusively a food blog, a lot of what I post connects to food in some way or another, so I figured WIAW would be worth a shot–though, as you know, I already have a segment to fill my Wednesdays.  So, instead of WIAW, these post segments will be referred to as ESST– in honor of every single stankin’ thang (I ate).  This is fun for me to do, and also informative for those of you who are thinking “Well, what the heck does a vegetarian eat?”

My breakfast (this was Thursday’s eats) was an attempt at creating a “breakfast blackberry cobbler”.  I blended together a cup of milk, one frozen banana, two handfuls of blackberries, 1.5 ounces of extra firm tofu, and dumped it into a bowl with Nature’s Path granola for the “crumb topping”.

I need to work on the recipe.  Tasty, but not official-recipe-worthy.

am pretty in love with the picture though.

I had this with some green tea…

And I know you guys love me for the beautiful picture. 😉

Later on, I nibbled on a delish spoonful of MaraNatha no-stir almond butter…

x2.  Yuuum.

The problem with almond butter pictures is that if you’ve had almond butter, when you look at a picture, you see it for what it really is: chunky sticky rich chewy deliciousness.  If not, it looks like a big spoonful of you-know-what.  😉

After that, it was out for a half-hour run!

PPRS (post post-run shower), I had a glass of milk.

Exciting, I know.
Also x2.

For lunch, I whipped up savory steel-cut oats with 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast (not nearly as foreboding as it sounds) and broccoli.

Not the most vibrant thing I’ve ever made.

On the side, I sauteed a whole farmer’s-market pattypan squash and topped it with some leftover Newman’s Own Mushroom Marinara.

Later, a golden plum from our fruit tree!

x2 x3.

90 crunches and 40 bicycle crunches ensued, since I’m still trying to develop my core for stronger running.

I had made pasta shells stuffed with marinara, steamed spinach, tofu, and herbs over the weekend, so I nuked five of ’em for dinner.

But sadly, they didn’t fill up the plate, so there was too much white space for the picture to be really aesthetically pleasing.  It didn’t help that our table is completely covered with crap miscellany either.  I promised you a picture, though (sigh).

I usually have a little snack before I go to bed, but this (along with some leftover filling–so I guess it wasn’t technically every single stankin’ thang I ate) held me over pretty well.  So I fear I am ending on the note of that horrible picture…(shudder).  I’m sorry, I truly am.