Thursday, December 30, 2010


But will resist the overwhelming urge and instead share a healthy recipe with you all.

Yes, I said healthy... I could hardly believe it myself as it's been AWHILE since I posted one of these ;)

In the spirit of starting 2011 with a clean slate, I attempted this take on a 3 bean salad.

Not only is it filling and storable for days, it's protein and fiber-packed to boot!

Did I mention it's vegan?

For the complete recipe, click here.

Let's get started.

First, rinse and chop your green beans

(the original recipe calls for canned but I'm not a fan of the soggy, flacid variety so chose to substitute by steaming the real thang)

Then turned to cans

Strain and rinse away

Can't really make a proper salad without the green stuff...

Is it just me or is vegetable chopping uber therapeutic?

Now for the real flavor

The liquids

The powders (creepy photo- thank you dying light)

Mix away and voila:


I was in a total rush to get his done before work and had no problem- prep time was maybe 12 minutes TOPS (that includes steaming the green beans, if you decide to go that route).

Since the salad needed to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours before consumption, I have yet to try the bad boy but have a feeling tomorrow's lunch is going to be pret-ty heavenly.

In other news:

A big thanks to those of you who showed support in my kicking this nasty caffeine habit. Day two was alright, though I definitely felt a lull in my overall mood and disposition. I'm hoping this too shall pass.

In case you haven't been outside lately (or you live in a different hemisphere), it is COLD!! If I had a warm house to escape to, it wouldn't be quite so bad but considering most older houses in Los Angeles don't have central heat, I'm currently suffering. Big time!

While every fiber in my being hopes it's not getting a cold, minor signs like a runny nose and achy body have started to creep in... (caffeine withdrawals anyone? okay, maybe not.)

A friend at work suggested I go to a steam room at the gym tomorrow, take a gallon of water and just sit and stretch for 20 minutes. Sweat that mess out. I think I just might.

Anyone else know of a tried and true pre-sickness remedy they'd like to pass along?

Being sick on New Years Eve would be no bueno!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


on several grounds.

Today marks day one of "Quitting Coffee 2011."

Good news: I'm still alive!

I noticed that decaf coffee tastes an awful lot like CHEMICAL, so let's hope all goes as planned and I'm off this stuff in two weeks tops.

Since I was depriving myself of a much-loved pleasure this morning, I thought I'd substitute it with another sort of gratification in the form of breakfast.

That's how "Too Many Dishes French Toast" was born...

It's a take on a recipe from "Skinny Bitch: Everyday Ultimate Cookbook" called Coconut Banana French Toast.

Since I didn't have any coconut milk (I should really get on that), I put a banana, shredded coconut, almond milk, cinnamon and nutmeg in the blender to create this

Then added a splash of TJ's egg whites for good measure (probably could have omitted altogether) and filled another bowl with raw oats.

Dip, dip, sprinkle

And say hello to the hot earth balance-greased pan.

Not too shabby...

Before heading out for Belgium day (part of the World Series of Food), I downed a green juice and gigante salad in preparation for what I knew would be some indulgent delights.

Today was a repeat visit to the Liege Waffle and Coffeehouse, Shaky Alibi.

As I was feeling rather icky on account of the cold rain (that exterior photo is from my last visit) and lack of caffeine, I ordered a pot of sencha green tea to start.

For the main course, I went with a savory waffle.

Yep, that's my first time seeing a waffley grilled cheese too ;)

Between the sweet Belgium waffle is medium cheddar cheese and smoked gouda.

It was an interesting flavor combination for sure (especially after adding Louisiana hot sauce to the equation), but not my favorite. T'was a tad dense and dry.

But, oh the dessert did NOT disappoint.

Unlike last time when I chose to play it safe with a traditional chocolate topping, I opted for the full on imported-straight-from-Belgium speculoos spread + homemade whipped cream.

Mmmmmm... so graham crackery :)

Christian and I had a lovely little chat, then I was off to do some post Christmas shopping.

Has anyone else noticed how INSANE the stores are right now?

Personally, I'm broke as a joke, so it was crazy to go out and see so many people spending away! (Help that economy recover, right?)

A couple notable stops:

Heaven Anthropologie (I could die in the homewares/cooking section)

Then I made the mistake of going into Barnes and Noble, where I was bombarded by an entire wall of cookbooks.

(that's about half of it)

While I could have spent the entire day there and then some, there were other late gifts to be gotten so I made the trek to Target to get supplies for my upcoming Fitnessista-inspired Inspiration Board 2011.

Stay tuned for that puppy this weekend!

Now I'm home enjoying my last night off before a hardcore 3 night work schedule ahead of me.

Deep Thoughts:

As some of you have probably noticed, the blog world is all aflutter with posts on the upcoming year's goals, suggestions for detox plans and the like.

I myself have had similar things on the brain for the past several weeks but am encountering a slight problem when it comes to getting my engine started for this new year.

Not sure if it's post-holiday blues, a life without the gym for over 2 weeks now or the less than stellar fuel I've been ingesting as of late.

Whatever it is, I have no doubt everything'll get back on track once that calendar switches to January and the rat race is on!

How do you feel about the new year? Are you ready to leave this one behind and get going or is there a part of you that wants to stop the clock (juuuust for a second)?

Catcha tomorrow... with something healthy and energy-packed. For reals, y'all ;)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Slave

... to the dark stuff.

I know I promised a post about living off the health train these past few weeks but today I feel a strong urge to share an even bigger (some might even say life-changing) idea with you.

I am currently suffering from an out of this world caffeine buzz.

I'm not talking about the kind that gives you wings to fly around the house cleaning, zoom from errand to errand and knock out your to do list in a flash and with panache.

No, this buzz is of the jittery stressful variety.

Nothing's different- I made my standard one cup of French press as usual this morning

But for some reason, I'm freaking out and feeling overly jacked up.

Therefore... I'm thinking of weaning myself off coffee.

Now, I'll admit: nothing lasts forever and things like this must be dealt with one day at a time. I might as well go ahead and say this, since my numerous past attempts at quitting have failed to last for more than a month.

But this time, I've got a blog and all you lovely people to vent my frustrations to and share my successes with.

I'm tired of HAVING to wake up and make coffee every morning to be ok. And suffering from blinding headaches come lunchtime without it. Or treating those I love the most with a grump meister attitude due to the lack of a drug in my system.

I want to take control of my mood and energy levels in a healthy, safe way.

This time of year is usually a period of reflection- taking stock of what we've accomplished, what we still hope to gain and what we've just altogether given up on.

Looking at the short list I made a year ago of accomplishments I hoped to achieve before the start of 2011, number 3 on my list of 8 reads "Quit coffee."

I've obviously checked, and re-checked this list many times over the past 12 months and #3 was one of those resolutions that I thought, "Meh- things change. I don't need to give up coffee; my life is fine with heavy doses of caffeine daily." And it is: I'm one happy broad. BUT "Could life be better without a daily cup o' joe?" is the question.

My general philosophy on life is this: "You never know until you try."

And try is just what I intend to do.

So what if I fail miserably and fall off the wagon in 2 weeks? At least I'll know I gave it my all and shared my experience with you guys.

As with most addictions, I think going off coffee cold turkey after years of consumption is PROBABLY a painful and unnecessary way to go.

For that reason, I've come up with several of tiers of weaning that could change (based on my body's reaction) in the coming weeks or stay just as prescribed below:

First week (because Lord knows I've got 3 straight night shifts, one being NYE, to get through):
Switch to half-caf. Meaning I'll put one scoop of caffeinated coffee + 2 scoops of decaf in my press

Second week: 
Full on decaf

Third week:
Depending on how I feel, stick with the decaf and pay extra attention to getting at least 15-20 minutes of cardio done every morning

Fourth week:
If I have not become a complete psycho by this point, I'll try to go 2 days without coffee of any sort, instead opting for a green juice every morning + cardio and an afternoon green tea if necessary

So there's the plan.

I should also mention that I don't plan to cut out coffee, espresso and the like forever (I will be visiting Europe in April after all). Instead, my aim is to limit my intake of the deliciously dangerous stuff to special moments. Much like indulging in a candy bar on one of those days when you just have to have one, I'd like to make coffee drinks the same sort of treat in my life. Rather than an absolute MUST.

We'll see how it goes ;)

As far as getting back on the health track goes, things are rolling right along.

I enjoyed a delicious bowl of oats this morning

complete with flax, banana, 1/2 cup of almond milk, cinnamon, shredded coconut and chia seeds.


I partook in many a bottle of water, along with a delicious glass of green juice mid-morning (because nothing's as good as homemade)

Lunch was a take on a sandwich I invented on a whim while in South Carolina. The California version needs a little tweaking, but it sufficed for today:

Open faced version

Closed face version

goat cheese and dijon mustard spread on toasted whole wheat bread with chopped green bell pepper, mixed greens, dried cranberries and pecans.

Nuts on a sandwich. Who knew?

Like I said, this one was a'ight. The original was on a baguette... there's definitely something to be said about that soft interior and crunchy exterior that the French do so well.

Now that my buzz has worn off and the crash has set in, I'm off to make myself busy rather than fall prey to a nap.

Anyone else out there looking to cut back on a vice of some kind in the new year?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Divine Pairings

Sometimes a girl just needs a burger and shake...

ESPECIALLY after traveling through 3 time zones, missing her connecting flight and venturing from weather like this at 5 in the morning

to sunny skies and 65 degree temps at 2 in the afternoon

The burger and milkshake I speak of is not your standard fast food fare:

(yes it's fake for a reason, courtesy of)

I was craving the real thing, in every sense of the word:

This vegan burger made of brown rice, black beans and sauteed veggies + side salad and vegan 1000 island dressing can be found at Flore Vegan Cafe in Silverlake. Dare I say the best meatless burger I've ever tasted? Yes, I dare.

And the raw chocolate shake?

Let's just say I'll be recreating this one at home. So easy: banana, cocoa powder, coconut, almond milk and agave.

Even Alex said it tasted better than a Johnny Rocket's shake... and believe you me: he's an expert on these things.

This morning, I woke up eager for a walk in gorgeous weather + coffee.

Lucky for me: I got both...

We moseyed on down to La Mill Coffee (I found out it's not pronounced "L-A Mill," but simply "La Mill"- how French ;)

I tell ya: no matter how many times I walk this route, some new vision always strikes me.

Same goes for Alex, apparently. Notice as he peels this graffiti from the wall....

... to take home and frame for himself. Pretty sure this might to some sort of street art sacrilege. At least now it's off the streets and hanging in a warm, loving home...

Seeing as we'd walked up an appetite, I decided to take advantage of my last day off this holiday season and squeeze in one final splurge meal before the detox commences...

You can take the girl outta the south but you will NEVER take the south outta the girl.

Yes, my friends, that is LA's legendary Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles- according to the menu, it's been:

As you might have guessed from the name, it's not the most vegetarian-friendly place in the world but I was hankerin' for a homemade biscuit + some grits and this might just be the best place in LA to find both. If anyone knows of something better, PLEASE let me know.

Since there are no substitutions allowed and every meal contains some sort of chicken component, I ordered a handful of sides.

umm, a waffle: hel-lo!

grits, eggs with onions and cheese + a hot biscuit, all complete with one pound of butter each (which I respectfully scraped off... for the most part ;)

Alex opted for the real thing:

Fried chicken breast + 2 waffles... Can't go wrong- unless you have a heart condition, in which case I'd advise you to stay far, far away from this place.

Alright, y'all: looks like it's grocery shopping time for me.

While it's certainly been more than nice and dandy partying off the health train for the past week or so, it's time to get back aboard tomorrow.

Be back then with some thoughts and reflections on this time away from the land of green juice and quinoa....

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some chocolate to eat.