And now that I’ve had a full week to process all of the awesomeness that happened at Fitbloggin (and to dive head first into grad school), it’s about time I complete my recap. Right?
Saturday started off with another bang. I dragged Melissa down to bounce on some tiny trampolines. Supposedly it was a fitness class, but it felt more like child-ish behavior mixed with inappropriateness from the instructor. I kid you not, he told us to “hit your bad kitty”. I’m still uncertain what he was referring to. So we jumped, then got on the floor and did some awkward dance moves. Afterward I was shocked at how much I was shvitzing. But I didn’t have much time to relax since it was absolutely necessary to Zumba! Although many people didn’t tramp, I swear that everyone got in on Zumba. It was a huge ball of fun. Who doesn’t love dancing? And let me tell you, all our sexiness rocked that
dance floor conference center carpet.
After a seriously necessary shower, I ran away to the Natural Products Expo next door. Let me tell you, there is nothing life a conference center full of natural food products… I spoke with so many vendors and picked up a bit too much. Fortunately my bunk mates were more than willing to take some free samples with. I met some great companies, who you’ll probably here about in a little bit, and learned plenty about the industry.
Then I jetted back to Fitbloggin so I could LiveBlog for the best (and most teary jerking) discussions of the event – When You Have a Lot to Lose. It was absolutely beautiful to hear each person’s story. It made me really reconsider things in my own life. The rest of the day I spent with the great roomies. We had crabcakes (naturally since we were in Maryland), had a slight fiasco with a patio umbrella, and enjoyed the reception where Robby won a KitchenAid mixer (that will be mine!). We spent the rest of the night relaxing around the grounds. I got picked up by Biggest Loser star Mark. Okay, that is a lie, I jumped into his arm and he couldn’t do much about it. Fortunately he was a good sport.
Our entire room woke up early on Sunday to prepare for the 5k. I had made plans to run with Maggie the day before and she was a perfect running mate. In fact, I’m hoping she’ll pace me for this weekend’s half marathon. Melissa was even kind enough to slow down and stick with us for the entire thing. Somehow having these two awesome ladies around me made me push a little bit harder.
The entire event ended on a high note of hugs and see-you-laters. Then off Pinky and I ran to the airport. It was sad to part from everyone and return back to California, but I knew it was time. The next day I started classes and TA-ing a class with a bunch of rowdy and confused engineering undergrads. This promises to be a very hectic and frustrating quarter. But I’m up for the challenge (as long as I can fit some training and healthy eating into the schedule). I’ve made some changes to my habits, in fact I’m even staying up later these days! But more on that soon.
What are your big plans and goals for October? I’m hoping to rock two half marathons and drop all those pounds I gained this summer.
At the Healthy Living Summit we were introduced to Dawn Blatner, an RD who wrote the book The Flexitarian Diet. In my previous post I discussed her action mantras that I am trying to instill in my lifestyle. And later for the keynote speech Dawn discussed her book and explained what a flexitarian lifestyle entails.
According to Dawn, a flexitarian is an individual who decreases their consumption of meat without excluding it entirely from their diet. She claimed that vegetarians weigh 15% less and by following a flexitarian diet you can drop up to 30 pounds in a year. (I like those statistics. Who wouldn’t mind losing that much weight?)
Dawn separated flexitarians into three categories: beginners, advanced, and expert. Somehow I’ve been eating a beginner flexitarian diet for quite some time since more than 1/3 of my weekly meals are meatless. I’m proud to say that I plan to become an advanced flexitarian in the next year (9-12 meatless meals a week). After I make the move cross country and settle into my new home in California, I plan to stock my kitchen with more vegetables, fruits, and beans. I’ll definitely need my action mantras to make sure I cook and avoid eating out as frequently as I did in the past…
It seems that meat and poultry are typically the most expensive items a grocery bill. By decreasing the amount of meat we purchase we can cut our bills and reduce greenhouse gases. To substitute meat in a recipe use 1/4 cup beans for each ounce of meat. If it is too tough to get rid of meat all together, cut the meat in half and add beans.
And if you need to add to the taste, “brighten” the food with acid such as vinegar, citrus, or yogurt. Another great tip Dawn offered was to pair a food you like with an unliked food. By combining the flavors, you will begin to enjoy the unliked food and become comfortable adding it to your recipes.
If you want to steal some fantastic vegetarian recipes, I suggest checking out Laura, Sarah, or Cassie’s blogs. I’ll be scouring the internet for the next few months to find recipes that most satisfy my new cooking style (AKA simple and quick meals) and I hope to reduce my meat consumption.
Have some great vegetarian recipes? I’d love your suggestions! And what blogs do you read to get new recipe ideas?
Last Friday morning I was seated in a demonstration kitchen in Reading Terminal with twenty of my closest blogging buddies. FritoLay set up an event to discuss their chips, both the flavors and ingredients that go into making the perfect, crunchy snack.
Of course they began with a bit of propaganda. Did you know that three of their lines use only natural ingredients? And that these chips have just as much sodium as many other snacks? (These are the things I learned). I was definitely surprised by some of the statistics they were giving us. I’m not sure if their presentation will change the way I view chips as a “healthy” snack, but it will definitely make me check more labels to see what ingredients I am putting into my body.
After the presentation, one of the head chefs started to whip up recipe ideas that the other bloggers provided. Some of the items were to be eaten with the chips, others were chip flavor ideas. First there were two coconut curries which were absolutely delicious. They also whipped up an avocado hummus that was phenomenal and bruschetta quinoa salad. I’m glad they gave us the recipes, now we’ll see if I can manage to make these dishes.
While cooking the chef discussed other flavors that had recently been born around the world. I had no idea that there was a Garden Tomato flavored Lays, but it is absolutely delicious (and addictive when slightly inebriated). Also, check out the flavors that exist in other countries; the UK has Chicken Tikka and Worcester Sauce chips.
Because it was absolutely fantastic and (seemed) easy enough to make, I wanted to share one of my favorite dishes. Here is a recipe to make bruschetta quinoa, this would be the perfect side dish for any meal (and I imagine you could eat it as a main dish as well).
Bruschetta Quinoa Salad
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Shallots, minced
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
2 Cups Grape Tomatoes, halved
½-1 Cup Vegetable Stock
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 Teaspoon Salt, kosher
1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Cup Quinoa, uncooked, make sure to buy a brand that is pre-rinsed to remove the bitter coating
2 Tablespoons Basil, julienned
¼ Cup Manchego Cheese, shredded
· Sauté the shallots and garlic in the oil
· Add the tomatoes and allow to blister
· Deglaze with the balsamic and allow to reduce
· Add the rest of the ingredients except the basil and cheese and simmer until the quinoa is cooked
· Fold in the basil and serve topped with the cheese
How do you feel about chips? Are there any companies you prefer to buy because of their “healthier” nutrition?
Want the recipes for the coconut curry or hummus? Drop me a line and I’d be happy to send them to you!