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parsnips & kumquats

The day absolutely flew by for me!  I woke up super early to get some work done (it is NOT easy to get up in the dark and pouring rain), and made myself some tea.

All of a sudden it was time to leave for work, and I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet, so I whipped up a quick smoothie for the road.  I was planning for a Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana smoothie kicked up a notch, and it was definitely good, but not as chocolatey and peanut buttery as I would have liked.

Regardless, here is the mix:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (for those antioxidants!)
  • 1 cup frozen spinach (no time to wash the fresh stuff!)
  • 1/2 packet Chocolate Amazing Meal
  • 2 tbsp cacao (added at the end for more chocolate taste)
  • 2 tbsp hemp protein powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxmeal
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 1.5 cups almond milk

Wow, that is a lot of ingredients!  But, while I am making it, it doesn’t feel like a lot.  I just throw in some of this and some of that.  I drank this baby on-the-go!

Lunch came quick, even though I didn’t eat until about 1:30pm.  I made up a salad with veggies and leftovers.

Salad with romaine, cucumbers, carrot falafel, kumquats (!!) and tangy tahini dressing.

With a side of leftover brussel sprouts – amazing the next day. 🙂  And, a juicy pear.

Have you ever had kumquats?  I had not ever tried them – until today.  I bought them on a whim at Trader Joes this past weekend because I see them there all the time and am always intrigued.  I figured, why not give it a shot?  I was skeptical because you just eat the whole mini kumquat at once (well, I cut them in half to remove the seeds first).

Kumquats look like mini oranges, with an edible rind.  They are small, typically the size of a grape, and have a super tangy and tart flavor.  I loved them!  They are definitely more tart than sweet, but a good tart, not a pucker-up tart.  They worked great in my salad, and I can see them being delicious on top of sauteed spinach – yummy.  They are a winter fruit, like an orange and are typically grown from mid-November to mid-March, so I guess I tried them just at the end of the season.  Give them a try sometime, and let me know what you think!

Due to my study session this morning, I moved my workout to after work.  I attended a GRAVITY class at Healthworks in Brookline, which was absolutely amazing!  It is basically a kicked up version of Bowflex (you know, from those infomercials?), but so much better.

They have small classes where each person is on their own GRAVITY machine (above) and the instructor tells you which movements to make.  It was an awesome total body, strength training workout in 50 minutes.

After GRAVITY, I jumped on the treadmill for a quick 4.5 mile run.  Once I was done, I was starving, so I headed home for dinner where my husband had some parsnip fries in the oven!

Parsnips are also new to me!  I guess I was feeling like I needed new fruits and veggies in my life this week.  A parsnip is a root vegetable, similar to a carrot.  It basically looks like a white carrot.  They are very high in fiber and folic acid.

I decided to make these into ‘fries’, so I peeled and chopped them up.

I chopped these up last night, knowing that I would be home later tonight and would want to just pop them into the oven.

Tonight, Brant coated them with olive oil, salt, pepper and some spicy essence and placed them on a cookie sheet to bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.  They came out browned and crispy.

The rest of dinner was kept simple.  I ate my parsnip fries dipped in ketchup with a Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger sandwich with hummus and a laughing cow wedge and a side of lightly wilted spinach.

Another simple and delicious meal!  Phew – it has been a long day.  Goodnight!