Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athletes, Days 15-16

Our offices at Crosstown Arts were closed for MLK Day on Monday, so I slept in (Mondays are also workout rest days for me) and made pancakes!! These Whole Grain Pancakes on the Health Made Simple meal plan are made with no white flour (just oat and chickpea flour). I added strawberries to the batter and topped with additional berries.

Morning snack was an apple (chopped and covered with ground flax seed). And lunch was a bowl of Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry over brown rice. When I made this for Sunday's vegan potluck, I saved a serving for the next day's lunch.

In the afternoon, I treated myself to my first-ever manicure (!!!) at Gloss Nail Bar. I had a glass of wine there. Later in the afternoon, I prepped a snack to take along on my grocery trip. I had these Bell Peppers with Tahini Dressing in the car.

Dinner on Monday was a hearty, warming bowl of Black Bean Tortilla Soup made with toasted corn tortillas, tomatoes, black beans, and corn. Plus, avocado and lime juice on top!

Since it was a holiday, I treated myself to an Old Fashioned cocktail for a night cap, made with Memphis-made Blue Note bourbon.

On Tuesday morning, I was supposed to do an 8-mile run, but for the first time in weeks, the temps dipped down into the 20s. And I just wasn't ready for all that. I knew it'd be warmer in the afternoon, so I moved my workout to the evening. That meant sleeping in and then having this Mixed Fruit Smoothie (just banana, blueberries, cranberries, and mandarin orange — no nuts, greens, or protein) before heading off to work.

Morning snack at my desk was Whole Wheat Crackers with Peanut Butter. I went to yoga at the YMCA in my building at 11 am, so this was nice fuel.

Lunch was leftover tortilla soup, and in the afternoon, I snacked on a bowl of apples and mandarin oranges, plus a Simple Truth Date Bar right before my run at 5ish (it was about 10 degrees warmer then, good choice!). After my run, I refueled with some tart cherry juice, and then got to work on dinner. 

This Buffalo Tofu Ranch Wrap is probably one of my favorite recipes on Health Made Simple! It has baked tofu, cashew ranch (with hot sauce mixed in), celery, tomato, lettuce, and pickled onion on a whole wheat wrap. On the side, I baked a Purple Sweet Potato (locally grown!) and topped it with nooch and salsa.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

No Meat Meet-Up Vegan Potluck #4

I'm interrupting my usual Health Made Simple meal plan recap for a post about this Sunday's amazing No Meat Meet-Up Vegan Potluck at Crosstown Arts!

It was Day 14 on my 4-week whole foods, plant-based meal plan, and I stuck to those parameters throughout the day, but once it was time for the monthly potluck (they're always at 3 pm), I let myself eat all the things. I tend to overeat at potlucks, so I really focused on just trying a small bite of each thing. And I think I did pretty well considering the massive amount of food there. We had about 40 people show up (some were couples, so not quite 40 dishes but definitely 20-something different options!).

I brought the Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry that I was supposed to eat on my Health Made Simple plan. It's made without oil and has lite coconut milk, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and Indian spices. Served over brown rice.

Steven brought some delicious Tofu Pad Thai.

Two people brought Vegan Queso — one was storebought (and made with cauliflower!) and the other was homemade. Both very good!

Shay made her famous Vegan Pizza!

James and Clarita blew us all away with their vegan meaty Million Dollar Spaghetti! They used the new vegan beef from Simple Truth Organic, and it was very, very meaty. Would have fooled any meat eater!

Jen & Simon brought some fantastic Kimchi Fried Rice using homemade kimchi (made by our friend Stephanie). 

Someone brought Roasted Veggies, a welcome addition to my plate of dips and carbs!

There was an amazing Vegan Challah Bread!! So soft and sweet. 

There was Bhel Puri!! My favorite Indian snack!

And a man who arrived later brought this mind-blowing, veggie-filled African Stew. We had a lot of late-comers, and I was so full by the time they arrived. But I still tried small bites of everything. I did fail to get pics of many of the late dishes though. There was a great enchilada casserole, Daiya cheesecake, raw crackers with guac, pasta salad, and more!

My very favorite thing were my friend/co-worker Lily's Vegan Donuts from her vegan donut company, Darling Donuts! I had half of a cherry coconut donut and half of a (not pictured) maple stick donut.

Here's my first plate! And yes, there was a second plate, but it was much smaller.

What a great potluck!! If you're local, the next one should be Sunday, February 16 at 3 pm at the cafe at Crosstown Arts. Bring a dish to share and let's eat!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athletes, Days 12-13

Friday morning on Health Made Simple started with my usual bootcamp workout at my downtown gym. I fueled with a coconut Larabar and then had a banana immediately after my workout for carbs. About an hour later, I had a Greens Fruit Flax smoothie with apple, spinach, banana, flax, and the last of my Complement protein powder. Luckily, I have another bag in the mail! This unsweetened protein powder is amazing.

Morning snack was Baked Corn Chips with Salsa made in the air fryer with lightly oiled corn tortillas. Yes, that's a tiny rubber ducky on my desk at work.

Lunch was leftover Veggie Tofu Stir-fry (pictured in my last post), and my afternoon snack was another bowl of fresh fruit (but I didn't add flax this time since there was flax in my smoothie).

Dinner was fun! The Health Made Simple plan called for Veggie Burger Tostadas on Friday night using one of the healthier burger patties, like Dr. Praeger's (I used the kale burgers). You cut up strips of veggie burger and toast them with vegan cheese on a tortilla, and then top with ketchup or mustard or whatever burger toppings you like. I just had ketchup on mine, plus a side of Baked Potato with Salsa. This plan is low on processed stuff, but I like that it still includes it sometimes!

On Saturday morning, Paul came to town and we planned a 16-mile run (well, 8 miles for him, 16 for me). So I fueled with my usual white bread Plain Bagel with Hummus.

Mid-run, I snacked on a chocolate Clif gel, a sesame rice ball, and some medjool dates. Post-run, I had this Tart Cherry Chocolate Smoothie with cherry juice, Vega Sport mocha protein powder, and banana.

Earlier that morning, I'd stopped by the Cooper Young Farmers Market for a treat from LuLu's! So I enjoyed my Chocolate Chip Cookie awhile after my run.

We stayed in and watched a movie Saturday night, so I made us the Pasta with Portabella Ragout from the plan for dinner. This simple dish has whole wheat pasta and a homemade sauce of diced tomatoes, garlic, herbs, onion, and portabella. I'd also picked up some olive bread from LuLu's, and that was really lovely on the side. Not pictured is my usual dinner salad.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athletes, Day 11

Another day, another morning run! Thursday — day 11 on the Health Made Simple meal plan — started with a 4-mile easy-pace run. But first, I fueled up with a Simple Truth Apple Cinnamon Date Bar. And then after the run, I had my usual bowl of White Rice with Soy Sauce and Sesame Seeds for re-fueling. My real breakfast — a Banana Walnut Smoothie (bananas, walnuts, protein powder, water) — followed a little later.

Morning snack was a fruit bowl — pineapples, blueberries, kiwi — with flax.

I had a lunch meeting at Next Door in Crosstown Concourse. They have a super-healthy and delicious Roasted Veggie Bowl with quinoa, roasted broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, and tahini sauce. A perfect fit for Health Made Simple!

In the afternoon, I snacked on some whole wheat Wasa crackers with almond butter, but I forgot to take a picture.

And then here's my awesome dinner! It was just a simple Tofu Veggie Stir-fry, but sometimes, those basic meals really hit the spot. The tofu is marinated in soy sauce, garlic powder, and maple and then air-fried. The veggies were sauteed with a soy-agave-garlic sauce. Served over brown rice!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athletes, Day 10 (plus donuts!)

Wednesday started with a 6-mile fartlek run (that's speedwork!), fueled by a PB&J Larabar (the best flavor!). After my run, I had my usual post-run bowl of white rice with soy sauce and sesame seeds. Then about an hour later, I had my first meal on Health Made Simple — a Greens Fruit Flax Smoothie with apple, spinach, banana, flax, and Complement Protein powder.

Morning snack was DONUTS!!!!! Sooooo not on the plan, but my co-worker Lily has started a vegan donut company, Darling Donuts, and she occasionally brings new flavors to the office for us to try. This time, she brought pistachio, candied ginger, and king cake. Of course I had to try all three, so I had half of the pistachio and a fourth of the other two. All were amazing! If you're local, look up @darlingdonutsmemphis on Instagram!

Of course, I felt the effects of all that sugar pretty much immediately. But it was so worth it! I wouldn't want to feel like that every day, but it's okay sometimes.

A couple co-workers and I had plans to meet one of my former co-workers for lunch at Global Café in Crosstown Concourse (where we work), and I wasn't at all hungry yet (thanks to the donuts). But I ordered this Vegan Fasolia and enjoyed it anyway! This is a Syrian dish with seared green beans and rice, and it's very tasty.

I had both of my snacks together in the afternoon (since the donuts took the place of my usual morning snack). This Fruit Bowl and Wasa Crackers with Cauliflower Hummus tided me over through a post-work meeting.

When I got home, I stuck another potato in the microwave and topped it with pinto beans, salsa, cilantro, nooch, scallions, and jalapenos (the same dinner from the night before!) and enjoyed with a salad with Oil-Free Hemp Vinaigrette (a Health Made Simple dressing recipe made with hemp seeds and spices).

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athlete's, Day 9

Tuesday started with a Simple Truth apple cinnamon date bar and a 5-mile run, and I felt so strong and fast! All this healthy eating seems to be paying off on the recovery front. I bounced right back after this weekend's back-to-back 12-milers! After my run, I had a bowl of white rice with toasted sesame seeds for some quick carbs.

About an hour later, I had the first meal on yesterday's Health Made Simple meal plan — a Banana Walnut Smoothie (2.5 bananas, 2 Tbsp walnuts, water, and Complement protein powder). Simple and delicious.

I had an early lunch because I had to be somewhere at 1 pm, so I skipped morning snack in favor of this big bowl of Lentil Soup with Wasa Crackers at my desk. Yes, I worked through lunch, but it was a busy day!

I had my two snacks in the afternoon — my usual fruit bowl (orange slices, strawberries, blueberries, flax seed) and this snack of Baby Carrots with Cashew Ranch.

That held me over until dinner, which was a GIANT Baked Potato with Black Beans & Salsa (plus nooch, cilantro, scallions, jalapeno, and lime juice). I love how simple the meals are on this plan. No fuss. Super healthy and loaded with good carbs. Yay for high-carb lifestyles!

After dinner, I was craving something sweet. I don't usually eat dessert at night, but I wanted something. I had some Emmy's Organic Coconut Macaroons in the pantry, and since they're made with whole food ingredients, I figured that'd be a healthy treat. Enjoyed with herbal tea while watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix (I'm getting inspired for a big decluttering goal in 2020!!).

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athlete's, Day 8

Monday was the start of my second week on the 4-week Health Made Simple plan from No Meat Athlete! According to this whole foods, plant-based meal plan, I was supposed to have a smoothie for breakfast (as well as pre- and post-workout snacks), but Monday is my one rest day from working out so I swapped out Sunday's breakfast on the plan and slept in until 6 am! That was a big plate of Tofu Scramble with spinach and onions. Plus, a side of whole wheat toast with Lantana cauliflower hummus.

I ate a half-pound of tofu, so I was pretty satisfied through my usual 10:30 am snack time, but by 11 am, I broke out my planned desk snack — Trail Mix with cashews, almonds, and cranberries.

Lunch was more Black Bean, Rice, & Veggie Burritos with kale, mushrooms, brown rice, avocado, tomato, and salsa in whole wheat wraps. The ww wraps were smaller than the average burrito size (WHY IS IT SO HARD TO FIND LARGE WHOLE WHEAT WRAPS???), so I had two burritos! Enjoyed on my lunch break while reading the paper. I'm going to try to take real lunch breaks at work as often as I can. Sometimes, I work through lunch, and that's just not a good habit.

Afternoon snack was another Fruit Bowl with flax! Strawberries, blueberries, and nectarines.

For dinner, I got to try a recipe in my new Instant Pot! The Lentil Soup recipe on the Health Made Simple plan included both stovetop and pressure cooker directions, so I was excited to try my new gadget! So far, I'd only used it for cooking rice (I'm making a LOT of rice on this plan!). The soup turned out really, really well. It has lentil, quinoa, spinach, and tomato. 

After dinner, I had a Crosstown CDC board meeting at Midtown Crossing, so I treated myself to a nice Crosstown Brewing Co. Traffic IPA. Nothing like a good beer to celebrate a day of great food!