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olives

The afternoon flew by!  I snacked on a new yogurt to hold me over until dinner.

I had no idea what to expect from the yogurt, but it was the first time I had seen it in the yogurt aisle!  I was plesantly surprised by Siggi’s!  It was super thick and creamy.  I loved the orange & ginger flavor – it did not taste one bit artificial like many flavored yogurts do.

I immediately went to the website to find out more about this Icelandic style skyr.

From the website:

Skyr is the traditional yogurt of Iceland. It is made by incubating skim milk with live active cultures. The whey, the water naturally found in milk, is then strained away to make for a much thicker, creamier, concentrated yogurt. So to make just one cup of skyr, with all that water going out, you need 3 – 4 times the amount of milk required to make a regular cup of yogurt. As a result of this process skyr comes out with 2-3 times the protein count of standard yogurt.

They are not kidding about the protein.  This 6 ounce cup provides 16 grams of protein!  It would be a great post workout snack.  And, the paper label peels right off of the yogurt container for easy recycling.  The downside is that is is expensive.  This little yogurt cost be $2.29!

Along with my yogurt, I snacked on a pear.

It was so sweet, which paired nicely with the tartness of the yogurt.

On to dinner at Olives in Charlestown!  (Sorry for the awful photos!)

I love the atmosphere in this restaurant.  The bar is very hip, and the kitchen is out in the open.

We started with some bread that was brought to the table.

The foccacia was delicious, but very garlicky!

I got the Greek Romaine Salad for a starter.  It contained romaine lettuce, red wine vinaigrette, cracked olives, tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cream.  It came as a deconstructed salad with the pieces all around the plate.

It tasted great, but as usual, there was a lot of dressing on the greens.

Brant ordered the Duxbury Oysters, which he loved!

I loved the presentation. 🙂

For my entree, I ordered the special: Wood Grilled Swordfish, which came with garlicky escarole, mashed potatoes and a tomato based sauce.  I swapped out the mashed potatoes for the maple roasted sweet potatoes.

This meal was absolutely delicious!  The fish was cooked perfectly and was complimented by the sauce.  The sweet potatoes were to die for!

I enjoyed 2 glasses of wine over the course of our dinner, but you’d never know it from the super dark photo!

Then came dessert!  Falling Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce.

We all split this.  Obviously, I loved it!

We had a great meal at Olives.  I highly recommend this restaurant.  The atmosphere is great and the staff is really knowledgeable.  Plus, the food was great!!

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monday morning run

I did it!  I woke up early on a rainy Monday morning to complete my 10 mile long run!  I actually did not notice that it was raining until I was up and dressed, which was probably a good thing.  Once I did notice, I started to dread the run, but as I got into the run it definitely was not that bad (except for the wind!).

I ended up with an average pace of 9:07, but my pace during the run was jumping a little bit due to the wind.  You can definitely tell when I was running along the water, which was much windier.

10 Mile Run

1 – 9:21
2 – 9:04
3 – 9:11
4 – 9:32
5 – 9:05
6 – 9:04
7 – 9:25
8 – 8:56
9 – 9:01
10 – 8:31

Before I set out on my run, I snacked on a banana and a glass of water.  I have found that eating something (even at 4:30am) really helps towards the end of the run.

After the run, I made a big bowl of oats!

I kept it simple today.

In the mix:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 cup water

On the top:

  • 1/4 cup homemade granola
  • 1 tbsp maple almond butter

Delicious breakfast on a rainy morning!  It kept me full for hours, which was great because I had a busy morning.

Once I finally had time to dig into lunch, I pulled out the following from my lunchbag of goodies:

Spinach Salad with Mozarella from Saturday night.

Quinoa with Veggies from Saturday night.

And, some TJ’s Flatbread from Friday night. 🙂

 

Followed by…dark chocolate goodies, in the spirit of my healthy lap of the week!

I couldn’t decided what I wanted, so I mixed some things together: dark chocolate leaves, dark chocolate almonds and dark chocolate covered ginger!  I’m not sure what was my favorite, but at least I got some healthy fats in there with the almonds.

And, now i’m sipping some tea hoping the afternoon will fly by.  We have fun dinner reservations tonight!

healthy lap of the week – eat more chocolate!

Healthy Lap of the Week – Eat More Chocolate!

You may think that I am crazy, but I have been reading the book Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe and Shazzie.  It is unbelievable what raw chocolate (cacao) can do for your health.

 

Now, I’m not saying that eating any chocolate bar will benefit your health.  It needs to be natural, raw chocolate (or dark chocolate).  So, don’t go out and buy a case of Snickers bars!

All chocolate is made from cacao beans, which are the seeds of the cacao fruit.  Once removed from their pods, they taste like rich dark chocolate (with a bitterness) because that is what they really are!  Which is why dark chocolate is the best type that you can eat.  Most good, high quality dark chocolate is minimally processed.

Chocolate (and the cacao fruit) grows on trees! (Source)

The cacao beans are found inside of the fruit, which is ripe once colorful. (Source)

They are found inside of the pods. (Source)

And removed for chocolate production! (Source)

The cacao bean contains numerous antioxidants, more than anything else, including red wine and green tea which have been shown to contain many antioxidants themselves.  However, in order to gain the antioxidants from chocolate, it needs to be eaten as dark chocolate or in it’s natural state (ie. raw cacao nibs or powder).  It has also been shown that consuming chocolate and milk together, greatly decreases the amount of antioxidants that your body can absorb.  Therefore, milk chocolate is a no-no, and so is drinking a big glass of milk with your chocolate bar.  I frequently add raw cacao powder and/or nibs to my smoothies.  Not only am I getting a delicious chocolate drink, but I am also getting the many great benefits of raw chocolate.

Raw Cacao Nibs are delicious when added to smoothies (without milk!!) and cookies! (Source)

 

Surprisingly, chocolate is shown to decrease your appetite.  Many people believe that chocolate is linked to obesity (which is true because of all of the artificially produced candy bars out there), however, if eaten correctly, chocolate is actually proven to be a natural weight loss drug!  If you look at many weight loss products on the market today, more often than not, there is cacao somewhere in the ingredient list because it will suppress your appetite.

Chocolate also contains the following benefits:

  • It has high levels of magnesium, which over 80% of Americans are deficient in.  We need magnesium for heart health, muscle relaxation and to increase our brainpower.
  • It has high amounts of phenylethylamine (PEA), which makes us happy!  Happy people have noticeably higher levels of PEA in their brains.
  • It also contains anandamide and tryptophan, which are both mood-enhancing nutrients that our bodies need.

“Every study on chocolate is pointing to the same conclusion: there is something in chocolate that is really good for us. That something is the raw cacao bean, the nut that all chocolate is made from. The cacao bean has always been and will always be Nature’s #1 weight loss and high-energy food. Cacao beans are probably the best kept secret in the entire history of food.”
David Wolfe, co-author of Naked Chocolate: The Astonishing Truth About The World’s Greatest Food.

You can purchase cacao powder and nibs in many natural food stores these days, including whole foods.  I love the Navitas Naturals brand, but anything will do!

 

If you need any other reasons to keep eating chocolate, definitely check out this book!  I haven’t finished it yet, but I’ll be giving you lots of tidbits here and there until I do!  It has a lot of great looking recipes to try too, but they are all raw, so that needs to be your thing!

Happy Eating! 🙂