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simple meals

I definitely did not spend much time on my meals today!  Luckily, I had a breakfast already made for me, leftovers for lunch, and a simple but delicious dinner!

I woke up bright and early for some speedwork on the treadmill!  I ran 7 miles with 4 x 1600 at an 8:00 pace.  I finished in just over an hour and felt great!  But, was ready for breakfast.

I forgot to snap a photo, but breakfast was another Wheatberry bowl with dried fruit, caramelized pears, greek yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.  Same as yesterday, so I copied the photo!  Trust me, it looked the same. 🙂

Breakfast did not fill me up as much as it did yesterday, maybe because of my workout?  So, mid morning I snacked on a banana and chocolate almond butter from Futter’s Nut Butter.  I ordered some nut butters from Futters awhile ago and they sent me some samples along with my purchase.  This chocolate almond butter was one of them.

It was good, but not great.  A little too sweet for my liking.  I much prefer the Cinn-ful Pecan Butter that I bought from them!

When lunch rolled around, I was ready with my leftovers!

I started with the rice mixture from our Stuffed Acorn Squash.

We had a lot of the stuffing left over!

Then, I had the leftover Brussel Sprouts from last night.

It was a great lunch.

Then, I was craving salty chocolate.  Wired, I know, but sometimes you just need it!  So, I booked it to Trader Joe’s to get my favorite Chocolate Pretzel Slims.

I immediately tore open the bag and dug in!

Yum – perfect!

The ingredient list isn’t terrible either.

But, of course I was still hungry a few hours later since my treat was not very filling!  So, I tried the new Oikos Caramel Greek Yogurt.

Oh my gosh!  This is even better than the chocolate!  It has a subtle, creamy caramel taste.  It is not a super sweet caramel, like I thought it might be.  So good.

Brant and I both got home late tonight, so we just wanted something quick for dinner.  I decided to heat up a can of Amy’s Soup that I had been sent to review.

I tried the Chunky Tomato Bisque.

This soup was really good.  It was rich and creamy.  Normally, I am not a fan of canned soup due to the amount of sodium, but Amy’s is a good compromise for a quick lunch or dinner.  Their soups are all natural and organic.  It still contains a lot of salt (680mg per serving), but that is less than other soups out there.  Plus, Amy’s only uses whole ingredients.

INGREDIENTS : ORGANIC TOMATO PUREE, ORGANIC DICED TOMATOES, ORGANIC CREAM, ORGANIC EVAPORATED CANE JUICE, ORGANIC ONIONS, SEA SALT, SPICES.

I also made up some quesadillas on a pita pocket to serve along with the soup.

I sliced up some zucchini and cheddar cheese to put in my quesadilla, and grilled it on the panini press for a few minutes until hot and melty.

A perfect and sophisticated grilled cheese and soup!

Time to pay attention to the Olympics and finish my book!  See you all tomorrow. 🙂

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food combining

I want to start out by saying that I am in no way trying to persuade you to be “food combiners”, but I found this topic really interesting and have researched it a lot over the past few months.  I wanted to give you my knowedge and let you decide what you want to do!  I have found that since I have stopped combining some food groups, it has greatly improved my digestion, but other groups I just can’t seem to stop (like a warm piece of toast with melty almond butter – starch and nuts)!  I don’t really notice any digestive issues after eating my toast with AB, so why stop?! 🙂  Everyone’s body reacts differently to food, so please always do what is best for you!

The idea of food combining was completely foreign to me until I read about it on Gena’s blog a few weeks ago.  It intrigued me, maybe this was the cause of some of my stomach issues?  I needed to read more and do more research to figure it out!

Wow!  There is a lot of information out there about food combining, but I tried to boil it down to the basics – for now!  It seems like once you get the hang of it, it might be easy, but right now it seems very overwhelming!  I’m just going to give you a little snippet of the basics that I have learned behind food combining because I could go on for days with all the info out there!

The idea behind food combining is that we should only eat certain foods together.  Different types of foods take a different amount of time to digest, so why would you combine them?  For example, meat can take anywhere from about 4-8 hours to digest while fruit only takes about 30 minutes (a huge difference!).  So, when you eat those 2 items together (say a turkey sandwich and an apple for lunch) your body gets a signal telling it to spend it’s time digesting the turkey, since it will take longer.  Makes sense, right?  However, while your body is spending hours upon hours digesting that turkey from lunch, your apple is just sitting there, fermenting!  That fermenting is what causes gas, bloating, IBS, etc!  Another example, that seems to be used in almost every article or website that I have read is the combination of steak and potatoes!  Combining meat and a starch is a big no-no in the food combining world!  My husband was in shock when I told him this, he will not be giving up his meat and potatoes.

Here is a chart that I found on food combining and digestion times for different food groups.

(Source)

I would say that up until a few weeks ago, I ate a piece of fruit after lunch everyday.  And, I would get bloated and feel gassy.  I do not eat a lot of meat, so it was rare that I would combine a turkey sandwich and an apple, but I do eat carbs and dairy with my fruit which also have longer digestion times.  I always thought that my bloated feeling was a combination of what I ate, but never would have thought it was my healthy fruit!  Once I read that, I immediately stopped eating fruit with my lunch.  Instead (and as food combiners say to do), I eat my piece of fruit as a mid-morning snack or about 30-45 minutes before my meals to give it ample time to digest.  And, I am happy to say that I have not felt gassy or bloated once after a meal in the past few weeks!  This also allows me to enjoy my fruit more.

Basically, there are 4 “groups” which you do not want to combine together.  They all digest at different rates, so why put your body through that type of stress (at least that is what food combiners believe)?

The four groups are:

  • Starches
  • Fruit
  • Nuts & Dried Fruit
  • Meat & Dairy

Vegetables are freebies, as they combine with everything!

I have felt better than ever since I started combining different types of foods, and I love it.  This does not mean that you have to give anything up, but if you are like me and have been told by doctors for years that you just suffer from IBS, then maybe this is something for you to try.

I’ll continue to post how I feel when I combine certain foods, to help me track it myself and for you to see the basics of food combining in action.  It really does make sense when you learn about it and try different things out!

If you are interested in learning about food combining more in depth, check out these websites:

Healthy Food Combining

Question of the Week: Food Combining

Food Combining Techniques

the weathermen were right…

…about the snow this time!!  We only got a few inches, but it is always so pretty when the snow is falling…until I get home to Southie and people have marked their spots with cones and chairs, etc!  UGH!

But I got home, found an unmarked parking spot and was ready to make dinner.

I felt like some delicious green veggies tonight, so I roasted some asparagus and brussel sprouts, and cooked up some barley which I seasoned with lemon and herbs.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I made roasted brussel sprouts in mustard sauce again, since they were such a big hit the first time around.

I cleaned up the brussel sprouts.

Then, mixed them with mustard, brown sugar, sesame oil, salt and pepper and spread them out on a cookie sheet to bake at 400°F for 25 minutes.

Yum!  They came out caramelized and crispy and even better than last time!

Roasted Asparagus

  • 20 asparagus stalks
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • handful of grated parmesean cheese

Lay out your asparagus on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on parm cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Bake at 400°F for 10-12 minutes, or until roasted.  I already had my brussel sprouts baking, so I just popped this cookie sheet in when they had about 10 minutes to go.

This is such a quick and easy way to cook asparagus.  My husband and I love it!

Tomato & Barley Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked barley, cooked according to package instructions
  • 2-2.5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme (use fresh if you have it!)

Directions:

  • Boil 2 cups of vegetable stock.  Add barley, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  I have found that the cooking times with barley really vary for some reason!  Check your barley every so often.  You may need to add more vegetable stock if the barley is not tender enough.  I cook long enough so that it is al dente.

  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add chopped garlic and onion.  Cook until onion is tender, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add grape tomatoes and cook until warmed through.

  • Once barley is cooked, remove from heat and add to the onion/tomato mixture. Stir until combined.

  • Add lemon juice and zest to the mix and stir to combine.  Then, add thyme and mix.
  • Serve with roasted asparagus and brussel sprouts, or your veggie of choice!

This was a great dinner.  I adore vegetables and grains, so anytime I have a meal combining the 2 is phenomenal in my book.  I make sure that everything has a lot of good flavors, but that they don’t overpower each other.  The barley salad was very lemony, which worked well with the mustard brussel sprouts.  And, the asparagus was so simple, that it could be served with anything.  Loved this meal!

Wow!  An all around great day of eats. 🙂