Thursday, February 28, 2013

25 Things About Me!

 25 Things About Myself.....

1. I love vegetables, especially when roasted.
2. I bite my nails and cuticles when I'm anxious.
3. I have a puggle puppy named Bulmer. He's nuts and outta control about 75% of the time. I really cherish the 25% of cuddling that I get with him.
4. Winter is my favorite season. I love the coziness that it brings, the style, and the sports. I'm an avid skier and sledder.
5. I love to bake, especially for other people. I especially like to take recipes and make them healthier because I like the challenge.
6. Whether it be chocolate, dried fruit, or cinnamon toast, I always have to have something sweet after dinner.
7. I love watching football, but in recent years have lost interest because my Philadelphia Eagles have been doing so poorly.
8. I own all 10 seasons of Friends and can quote almost every episode.
9. I have been a vegetarian since February 2012 and I have for about 2.5 weeks
10. I Irish danced competitively for ten years of my life. I then taught for 4 years.
11. I am the fifth generation of my family to attend Villanova University. My great-grandfather graduated in 1917.
12. I graduated with a BA in Psychology and with four minors: Business, Cognitive Science, Latin American Studies, and Spanish.
13. I have had the opportunity to take part in two mission trips during college. One to Peru where we worked in an orphanage, and one to Guatemala where we built a home for a family in 2 1/2 days.
14. I hope to travel South America one day, skiing in Chile, experiencing the culture of Brazil, serving the community in Nicaragua, and taking a rest on the beach in Costa Rica.
15. I am a cinnamon addict, always putting it in and on everything sweet.
16. I collect shot glasses. I purchase one in every new city, state, or country that I visit. My friends and family have started bringing back shot glasses from their trips, as well, to add to my collection. I'm obsessed with it :)
17. I just made my first adult big purchase... I bought a car!! I'm in love with my brand new Jeep Patriot.
18. I grew up going to Sea Isle City, NJ every summer and can't picture a summer without at least one trip down the shore.
19. I really want a tattoo, but I'm too afraid to actually get one. Read: I'm afraid I would be disowned, and I'm afraid I'm going to hate it in a year.
20. If I were to get a tattoo, I would want it to say Slán abhaile, which means safe home in Gaelic. My grandmother used to say it every time we headed home from her house.
21. I have struggled with different weight and body image issues through college and up until this point in my life. It is still something I work on everyday.
22. I'm a talker. I need to talk things through. I like to express myself and let my opinions be known.
23. That being said, I do not avoid confrontation. If something is bothering me, I will face the issue or the person, head on.
24. I love a good comedy. I like movies that make me laugh and make me feel good inside.
25. I like to make people laugh. I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WIAW: Rabbit Eats

Well not quite rabbit food.... but it IS all vegan :) If you missed my post yesterday, I have officially decided to become vegan. After watching both Forks Over Knives and Vegucated in the same night, there was no going back to my dairy eating/drinking days. FISH ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD. (....though I've been allergic to fish my whole life so they've never been food... but you get the point.) Anywho. Happy WIAW friends. As always thank you to the lovely (and officially prego!) Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the bloggy party.
 Peas and Crayons
For this WIAW, I decided to map out two typical days for me during the work week, this past Monday and Tuesday. I eat differently on the days that I go to the gym after work. I don't get home until around 8:30/9pm on these days, so I don't have the energy or time to make a nice dinner. I'm also, usually, not all that hungry, since it's so late at night. When I don't go to the gym, however, I am able to take the time to prepare a full dinner. It just all depends on the day!

Breakfast- Nature's Path Organic Flax Plus Raisin Bran mixed with Organic Corn Flakes (though Kashi Heart to Heart is pictured above instead of the Corn Flakes.... I make a variation of this just about every morning) topped with sliced banana, chia seeds, and soy milk.
Lunch- A homemade taco blend of lentils, black beans, and kidney beans topped with organic salsa. carrots, homemade guac, and organic tortilla chips on the side. Simple and filling.

....gym after work!....

Dinner- Protein smoothie! I am loving any variation of these. My favorite so far has been a combo of soy milk, frozen wild blueberries, ice, Spiru-Tein protein powder, oats, cinnamon, vanilla, truvia, and chia seeds. Perfect post workout dinner. I usually have a little something on the side like a piece of toast or black bean tortilla chips depending on what's in the cupboard.
Dessert- A big mug of Sugar Cookie tea with a splash of soy milk along with a few dried apricots and a square or two of dairy free dark chocolate. I love the calming feeling of snuggling up on the coach with a mug of hot tea.

Breakfast- Same tupperware of cereal as Monday.... and Friday, Thursday, ednesday, etc. I know it's not recommended to eat the same thing for breakfast everyday but I just can't get enough of this cereal combo! I mix in the corn flakes because the flax plus cereal is kind of pricey, and the corn flakes add a different texture to the bowl. Chia seeds for omega 3s! I pour the milk on the cereal before I leave for my 45 minute commute. I don't wind up eating breakfast until about 30 minutes or so after that. Yes, I LOVE my cereal soggy. I used to pour the milk on at work and wait for it to get soggy, but who has time for that?
Lunch- Hearty Minestrone Soup from Trader Joe's with a piece of Quinoa Bread from Trader Joe's and some carrots on the side. This soup was perfect. Filled to the gills with delicious and nutritious veggies. I loved it! Definitely will purchase again. After lunch, I had the orange pictured above.
Dinner-  My current obsession and the ultimate comfort food. Trader Joe's Radiatore Pasta topped with sauteed Savory Tofu from Trader Joe's, roasted garlicky collard greens, and olive oil. AMAZING. This was the first way that I tried making tofu, and it's literally so easy and delicious that I make it about 2 or 3 times a week. I originally made this dish using roasted kale instead, but I accidentally bought collard greens this week.... hey I made it work, and I almost like it better!!

Dessert- Chai Tea with a splash of soy milk and some dried apricots and a square of dark chocolate.

So there you have it! Two full days of yummy vegan eats. I'm loving it, could you?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

That Time That I Didn't Blog For Weeks....

Welp it's been ages since I've blogged. Life has gotten NUTS. Been working all day, then working super late (Read: 7pm and later), going to the gym after work (except these past few days womp womppp), eating dinner at 9pm, and going to bed at 11pm. and then doing it allll over again the next day. This real life person thing is tough. Who knew working for a living would be so exhausting. (when I say things like that my dad always says "welcome to the next 40 years of your life" and all I have to say to that is WOOF.) I like being busy though. It gives me purpose and drive. And though I hate eating dinner so late, I am much more motivated to find a healthy and light option, so I am not stuffed to the gills when I go to bed a few hours later. Smoothies have been rocking my world, but more on that later.
Since I last posted, I wouldn't say a lot has changed...but some stuff definitely has. For one, I feel that, besides this past weekend (weekends are always tough though aren't they?),  I have been making healthier choices. I celebrated ONE WHOLE YEAR of being a VEGETARIAN!!! :) I was super excited about it and decided I wanted to do something bigger and more challenging in the weeks going forward.. sooo I am going full on VEGAN. 
Yessss I know I tried this before. Buttttt, this time I actually went to a nutritionist to find out what I need to be eating to keep my diet balanced and to stay healthy. I found out a lot of awesome info that I hadn't come across in my research. I have really just been focussing on getting in a ton of protein as a vegetarian, so that was my biggest concern  in adapting a plant based diet. What will replace the protein I get from Greek yogurt or cottage cheese? Turns out, it's pretty easy to get a large amount of protein from the products that are plant based that I had already been consuming. It was the vitamins that I was lacking! Something I definitely had not thought about even once. Calcium, sure...Iron, maybe.... but not Vitamin b12 or zinc or iodine. It was an eye opening appointment, and it was so helpful to know where I can get these essential vitamins and minerals as I move forward with a plant based diet. I want to do a thorough post with more research next week, so stay tuned!

I actually wrote this post on Feb 6th, but never got around to posting. I have been a vegan for 3 weeks now and have been loving every minute of it :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

If you look back at my posts from last summer, you will see that, on the weekends, I was a little pancake obsessed. Working endlessly to create a healthier version of a chocolate chip pancake, I finally created a recipe that I loved. That is until, I came up with this gem of a recipe this past Saturday. I didn't want chocolate; I wanted banana oatmeal pancakes. And I wanted them to be light, fluffy, and healthified. So here it is, my newly improved pancake recipe:
Be sure to drink a cup of coffee, like a boss, while enjoying these pancakes.

1 cup light soy milk
2 T fat free vanilla Greek yogurt
2 egg whites
1 T vanilla extract
2/3 cup quick cooking oats
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 T cinnamon
1 T chia seeds
1 banana sliced

What to do:
1. Put on a soothing pandora station, such as Mumford and Sons, so that you are able to enjoy your pancake making in the best way possible.
2. Whisk together the egg whites, vanilla, soy milk, and greek yogurt in a medium bowl.
3. Stir together the remaining ingredients (except for the banana) in a separate bowl.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until combined.
5. Heat a skillet pan on Medium low heat, and spray the pan with cooking spray
6. Slice a ripe banana thinly Set aside.
7. Scoop about 1/2 cup of batter into the pan, and push the batter out into a circular shape using a spatula.
8. Add a few slices of banana on top of the batter in the pan.

9. Once the pancake begins to bubble, check to see if the under side is browned using a spatula. If it is, give the pancake a quick flip.
10. Add a few more slices of banana straight to the actual skillet to heat them up and give them a bit of a carmelization.
11. Once the under side of the pancake is nice and brown, transfer the pancake to a plate and top with the carmelized banana slices.
12. Serve with greek yogurt, syrup, blueberries, or whatever your heart desires.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

WIAW: A Plethora of Eats

Goooood day, and happy WIAW!! This is the most excited I have been for What I Ate Wednesday in ages because 1. I have been a good little blogger and have been documenting my recent eats, 2. I've been eating some deliciously nutritious foods, 3. I have days and days of eats to share, and 4. I have been doing some experimenting in the kitchen. Who wouldn't be excited? (side note... I just accidentally capitalized the K in kitchen, like it's some holy place or something.... ) Anywho, a big thanks to Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for hosting the party.
Peas and Crayons
And thanks to her for her recent instagram pics. Loving that little ferret she has :) I recently joined the instagram fiesta, and I am completely obsessed. I like to find any reason to post a pic. It's addicting. Follow my crazy and sometimes mundane (depends on the day...) life @kaitlintheresa44. Now back to the food...

 Saturday morning, I decided to treat myself to some homemade healthified banana oatmeal pancakes. These were just lovely and kept me full until dinner.
 Dinner on Saturday was perfect and delicious. An eggwhite omelet with crumbled Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs, and peppers topped with 1/2 a sliced avocado. Leftover roasted potatoes, carrots, and onions were had on the side along with some salsa.

Sunday Morning, I had healthified banana pancakes again, except this time I didn't use maple syrup as a topper. I didn't want that much sugar (I noticed my hands swelling Saturday morning from a sugaa ovaload.) I heated up about 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries, added a teaspoon of maple syrup, and a packet of truvia, mixed, and poured over the pancakes. DE-VINE. Shoulda done that from the get-go. Perfect, light, fluffy. Yum. Sorry no picture. These were DEVOURED in .10 seconds flat.
Sunday Dinner was a fried egg topped with a sprinkle of freshly grated cheddar cheese, a side of heated lentils, a side of seasoned frozen broccoli, and a small salad consisting of spring mix, feta, carrots, celery, and tomatoes topped off with balsamic glaze.
Breakfasts: Recently, every morning has looked like this. A coffee with soy milk, truvia, and pumpkin spice, a Lemon Zest Luna Bar, and a banana. Filling, sweet, and a bit of protein in there. I'm working to a healthier, on-the-go breakfast, but for now, I will stick to this combo.
 Lunches: Salads on salads on salads. Each day has started with the same base of spring mix, lentils, and cottage cheese topped with balsamic glaze, but each day has a bit of a variation. Monday was leftover black beans, peppers, and chiplets from Golden Globe Nachos on Sunday.
Tuesday was the basic base with the addition of chopped radishes, carrots, and celery mixed in with the spring mix.

Today's lunch is the base with the addition of roasted frozen brussel sprouts leftover from last nights dinner. (Blogger is refusing to let me make this picture smaller, so the result is HUGE, in your FACE, BRUSSEL SPROUTS!)
Friday I brought home soup from work to have for dinner with a fried egg on the side. It consisted of black beans (hence the purple hue), quinoa, farro, and cabbage.
Thursday Dinner: PROTEIN SHAKE!! My dad introduced these to me last week, and I have been loving coming up with different combos! This guy is full of light soy milk, ice, frozen blueberries, 1/2 frozen banana, chia seeds, cinnamon, and 2 scoops chocolate protein powder. Perfect dinner following a sweaty gym sesh when I am not feeling up to eating anything solid or cooking in the kitchen. Thank you, Ninja blender.
Clearly still loving the Protein Smoothies on Tuesday as well. (and Snapchat... but that's a whole other obsession to deal with on another day...) This smoothie was a bit different than my usual. It had light soy milk, a handful of kale, 1 cup of Welch's frozen mixed berries (sour and sweet cherries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries), 1 packet of truvia, 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder, ice, and chia seeds. This is my favorite thus far. I think it may be the vanilla protein powder. It smells like cake mix. YUM.
 Fried egg on the side for good measure.
Last night, I wanted something more substantial than a smoothie. I microwaved a sweet potato for 1 minute 30 seconds, and then threw it into the toaster oven, which was preheated to 375 degrees, while I prepped the rest of my dinner (about 20 minutes or so). I made an egg white omelet with 3 crumbled TJ's meatless meatballs and cottage cheese. Lastly, I nuked some frozen b-sprouts, then threw a bit of olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper over top, and tossed them into the toaster oven along with the sweet potato. Lovely, well rounded meal :)
Props to anyone who read through all of that.... #longwinded.
Or maybe you just scrolled through all the pics? Haha.
Regardless, thanks for stopping by!
Anyone have a favorite post work-out dinner?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WIAW: resolutions

A new year comes with all kinds of cliches...fresh start, new year new you, clean slate, new beginnings....and I, for one, am not falling privy to any of the above have taken on all of the above.

My resolutions include cleaner eating, more movement, new ways of thinking, and a better attitude. And I have to say... So far so good!! I think I've been doing pretty good with the clean eating, eating mostly whole foods, and less frozen/prepackaged foods (though you'll see below some habits die hard... Sorry but trader joes meatless meatballs are the best thing that has happened to vegetarians in a time constraint who need am extra protein punch!!) I've gone to the gym 4 out of the past 6 days, and have started feeling better about myself. Enough about all that though, you all came here to party! Not to hear me ramble on.

Peas and Crayons

As always, thanks to the beautiful Jenn for hosting these bloggy shenanigans each week. I have to admit, I've been a slacker in the posting department with WIAW lately, but I always drop by to see what's happening each week. Here's a look into my cliche "new year, new me" eats!

Clean Grocery Shopping!!! BEST. DAY. EVER. So satisfying unpacking these groceries, and proud to say that I've gone through about half of this pile of goodness. Nom.

Post Work Out Smoothie- Blueberries, Soy Milk, Ice, Chocolate Whey Protein Powder, Cinnamon, Chia Seeds, and Oats

Breakfast Tuesday Morning- Lemon Zest Luna Bar, Grapes, and Coffee with Soy Milk, Pumpkin Spice, and Truvia

Can't get through the day without a seltzer!

Dinner Monday Night- A monster salad with roasted brussel sprouts, roasted brocolli, roasted kale, lentils, feta, crushed up lentil chips, romaine lettuce, olive oil, and balsamic glaze. AMAZING.

Roasting veggies every night!

Recent Desserts- A few squares of Trader Joe's Organic Dark Chocolate.

Tuesday Lunch- Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash and Tomoto Sauce. Doesn't look too appealing, but it's quite delicious and definitely satisfying.

Tupperware on tupperware. All day, every day.

Coffee with a few friends on Sunday included a Grande Soy Latte. I don't know why, but Starbucks, HANDS DOWN, has theee best Soy Latte. I can't get over them. So yum.

Breakfasts last week included good ole' Rolled Oats, Quick Cooking Oats, Soy Milk, Chia Seeds, Raisins, Truvia, and Pumpkin Spice. Honestly, I think I killed this combo over the summer. I don't seem to be as much of a fan lately.

Perfect cups of "Signature Crema Coffee" (no dairy!) with Soy Milk, Pumpkin Spice, and Truvia.

What are your New Year's Resolutions?
How have you been keeping up with them?
What's your go-to healthy meal during the week?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

WIAW: Christmas Edition!

It feels like Christmas never happened. It's all a blur! But here are some of the eats we enjoyed Christmas day with my family :)