Sleep is key.
Today has been amazing and not because anything spectacular happened.
I woke up full of energy at 8am after falling asleep at 9:45 last night.
This is not to say my body needs 10 hours of sleep all the time, but after depriving my body by only getting 5 hours the night before (thanks to late work hours + early morning yoga), I needed the shut eye desperately.
Funny thing is: I was always the girl who slept in. While my dad and sister were up and at 'em with the sun, growing up, my mom and I were the ones who'd lie in bed until nearly noon. Not the case anymore, folks. Waking up early might be my new favorite thing... WOW! I never thought I'd say that.
If only my job would allow me to get home before midnight... maybe one day ;)
Onto the eats.
I wanted protein for breakfast, since it's my rest day and the muscles are a little achy.
After that mind-blowing veggie quesadilla last night, I wasn't really feeling eggs; and I wanted something with a crunch, meaning a protein smoothie was out.
I pulled my Greek yogurt out of the fridge and saw to my delight:
22 grams of protein in 1 cup of yogurt!? Don't mind if I do.
So I made this bowl full of hittin' the spot:
plain Greek yogurt, raspberries, almonds, half a banana, chia seeds, pumpkin butter and Grape Nuts
Now I know you're probably wondering, "Why hasn't Maddie been putting ground flax seed on anything lately?" Calm down people- your questioning stops here ;)
Since using my new to-die-for LA Mill Coffee whole beans, my beloved grinder has turned from this:
Call me crazy, but I just cannot bring myself to use the same machine for grinding both coffee beans and flax seed.
Have no fear, a new one's on the way thanks to Amazon.
Phew. My heart will be thanking me later.
In other news: lately I've been thinking a lot about seasonal, local eating.
One of the many reasons living in Southern California ROCKS MY SOCKS is the great access to tons of fresh local produce all year round.
I wanted to take it a step further and find out what exactly is in season right now.
Thanks to google, I found this amazing website which allows you to select your region of the country, the current season and *voila* up pops a list of in season fruits and veggies PLUS an option to search for local farmer's markets. I highly recommend.
In season in my area?
apples, asparagus, avocados, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, grapefruit, grapes, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onions, oranges, peaches, pears, peas, pistachios, potatoes, radishes, raspberries, rhubarb, rutabaga, scallions, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips
AH, the bounty! The website also allows you to click on any of the items listed and get a full description of their health benefits and uses. COOL!
With produce on the brain, I went to Trader Joe's to re-up on some much needed spinach and salad ingredients, then came home to research my latest home project:
RE-ORGANIZING THE PANTRY 2010
"Research?" you might ask. Yes, research. I have so many things to store and organize that some sort of thought out system has got to be put in place.
I'll save a full post for when I'm done, but to give you a little glimpse at what I'm dealing with, here you go:
Many minutes were spent on Amazon.com and other organizational sites to figure out the best way to turn this mess into something usable. I'll be sure to let you know when I'm done.
I made a "back to normal" salad for lunch:
Spinach, I love you.
It contained spinach, carrots, orange bell pepper, goat cheese and pom seeds. Delish.
Then I downed this baby green juice:
(forget the convenience store checkout counter versions, THIS is what you call a true energy shot)
I needed fuel to make a new recipe brought to you by Angela at Oh She Glows called Healthy Cookie Bites. (Is it just me or do I tend to make A LOT of 'healthy' cookies? Hmmm...)
This particular one appealed to me because:
a) Since the birthday sweets overload, I've been finding my old vices harder to resist so I figured I'd better make something healthy to ween myself back off
b) There's no added sugar!
The main ingredients:
and my personal favorite, dark chocolate chunks:
The wet goes into the dry
Put them in the oven and out they come
Gleaming with excitement to have a bite, I turned one over to discover:
(Sigh) I wonder how different my life would be if I had an oven that worked properly...
Ah well, I can still bite the top off ;)
Alright, I'm off to get ready for work but before I go, I want to share a quote I found today while perusing my latest cookbook purchase, Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin. Beware, much like her bestseller Skinny Bitch, this quote is pretty fierce.
"It seems we have taken huge strides backward when it comes to the way we think of food. We've all gotten busier- adopting a "Work Hard, Work Harder" motto- and our meals have suffered as a result. Lack of time and money have certainly played their parts... But there's a bigger cost to all of this.
Without even knowing it, we have devolved into a culture that rushes through life, and quickly gives in to the lure of a cheap, quick meal courtesy of the ubiquitous neighborhood fast food joints. We continue to put in 12 hour days, skipping from the office to parent-teacher conferences, dashing to soccer practice and ballet rehearsal, and then opting for a preservative-filled cheeseburger here, a fried chicken finger there. All the while we exhaust the excuse that we don't have enough time to cook..."
While not all of us have the parent-teacher conference excuse, I can say for myself that food wasn't always a priority for me. In fact, it was most certainly a lifestyle change to incorporate all the healthy things I eat now. While I still have my short falls and definitely choose to eat out rather than make a home cooked dinner from time to time, I think it's important for all of us to think about Kim's observation.
You have time to do all the things you do throughout the day, but you can't take 30 minutes to prepare a nutrient-rich, all natural dinner to thank your body for getting you through? Not all of us can make bomb tasting cuisine, but think about. Practice makes perfect- and that includes in the kitchen ;)