Monday, January 28, 2013

Loaded Veggie Soup

I'm not too good about eating my vegetables. Fruits, I love. Veggies, not so much. I try to incorporate salads or soups into my day as much as possible to compensate. So for this week I made a batch of soup to eat for the week instead of to-go salads. I'm a total newbie to the soup scene, so I just threw whatever sounded good in (the same approach I have to salads ;]).

1 box of broth of your choice (low sodium)
1 medium zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 cup of cut green beans
1 can of kidney beans (rinsed)
1 cup of cut baby carrots
2 large celery stalks

Seasoning of your choice (I used black pepper, Mrs. Dash-Fiesta Lime, Chili paste) (weird combo! But that's all I had at the moment).

Wash, peel, and cut veggies while bringing broth to a medium boil. Add carrots to the boiling broth first to give them a head start. Then add everything else. Stir occasionally.

Add seasoning. It's done, when the veggies are tender. Don't overcook it or you'll end up with mushy veggies (unless you like it that way).

~makes about 8 cups at 75 cals per cup

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Reese's Hot Chocolate

I'm calling this "Reese's Hot Chocolate" because after seeing my baby cousin eat this:

I knew I had to find a replacement for that. So PB2 and Cocoa Powder to the rescue!

In one mug heat up a cup of unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice) for 1-2 minutes until hot. While the milk is warming up, mix one tablespoon of PB2, one tablespoon of cocoa powder, and 1 or 2 packets of stevia (depending on how sweet you want it, you can always add it after if you aren't sure) in another mug. Once the milk is warm, pour it into the mug with the dry ingredients. Stir well to make sure everything dissolves or stir as you drink (since the powder has a tendency to sink and sit on the bottom).

It definitely took away my craving, lasted longer than the few fleeting bites my cousin had, and was a healthier option compared to the process stuff.

*Note: This drink is very rich and may not suit everyone (because of the peanut buttery taste). To make hot chocolate, just omit the PB2 and use 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder instead.

Healthy Take on Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies are my favorite. I can literally eat a dozen of them in one sitting. So I decided to put my own spin on it in a half dozen batch that is completely guilt-free!

Makes 6 cookies, bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes. Just simply mix all ingredients together.

1 packet of instant unflavored plain oatmeal
1 tbs unsweetened applesauce
2 tbs unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tbs of sweetener of your choice
pinch of salt
dash of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 mini box of raisins (or about a tablespoon)

 Divide into six cookies!
And after waiting patiently, dig in!

Update on yesterday's banana ice cream!

So this morning for breakfast (yes, ice cream for breakfast!), I made the chocolate ice cream that I wrote on my previous post. It was delicious!!! Although, it came out more like a soft serve texture. I think next time I'll try mixing greek yogurt with sweetener and cocoa powder, then freeze it for a few hours to see if that texture is creamier and ice cream like. Once I do, I'll make sure to update you all!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Hoisin Sauce

This week I had spaghetti squash with vegan meatballs for my meal prep. Today I didn't have any red sauce or vegan meatballs left, but I still had half a cup of spaghetti squash. Today must be my "winging" day because I winged this one too.

1/2 cup of spaghetti squash (cooked) (since it was all I had left)
1/2 tablespoon of hoison sauce
1 tsp of chili paste (if you like it spicy)
cilantro (optional, I used it to garnish)

Mix together and cook on the stove (med-low heat) until warm!

Tasted great! Since I know it worked out well, next time I'm gonna double the recipe, add veggies, and a source of protein to make it a real meal.

Remember, I'm a basic experimental cook. So get creative with this and add whatever you like! I for one cannot wait to eat this with red bell peppers, onions, and grilled shrimp!

Have a happy healthy day!

Chocolate Pudding/Dip/Ice Cream

Remember those chocolate pudding snacks in elementary school? I had a craving for that today, but I wanted a healthier version. Thanks to the versatility of bananas, I can!

This chocolate pudding can also be a dip or ice cream too. So simple! Just blend a refrigerated banana with 1/2 a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder. For ice cream, simply use a frozen banana! Ta-da!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies!

Instead of eating typical oatmeal today for breakfast, I wanted cookies! Thus, I winged it and created a medium between the two.

-1 packet of instant unflavored oatmeal (or you can use 4 Tbs of rolled oats and crush them in a food processor)
-1 Tbs of Peanut butter or any nut butter you prefer (I used PB2)
-3 Tbs of unsweetened almond milk
-1 packet of stevia or truvia
-pinch of salt
-1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon of baking powder

Mix all of the ingredients together. Place on parchment paper on a cooking sheet (you don't have to use parchment paper, I just prefer it). The mixture makes six cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

These came out chewy and soft! Next time I'll add some mix-ins like raisins, nuts,  or chocolate chips!

-Miss M

Monday, January 21, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Vegan Meatballs

My healthy take on spaghetti, it's as simple as one, two, three! Seriously.

1) Spaghetti squash
2) Red sauce of your choice
3) Vegan meatballs (or you can go for whichever meatball that suits you).

Yum! Michelle Approved! 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Perfectly Imperfect

Read this entry from Heidi Powell's blog!

Week 4 Meal Prep

Meal prepping takes forever!!! But I know it'll be worth it during my busy week.

On Facebook I follow personal trainer, Chris Powell. His status today mentioned that people usually bail out of their New Year's resolutions by January 17th. I'm happy to say that I am still going strong, and I hope you are too. Here's a motivating photo I found on tumblr to celebrate!

So true, right?

This morning I woke up and wanted banana-egg pancakes. I like to get creative with them, sometimes adding blueberries, raisins, or PB2 peanut butter (I love PB2!). However, my mother was cleaning the stove, so I came up with a brilliant idea to make waffles instead, using our waffle maker. It didn't turn out so brilliant after all... Sad face.

Nonetheless, I still ate it though it came out looking nothing like a waffle. My workout this morning was great, another body-pump day with a little bit of cardio to warm me up. After the gym, I went to buy groceries for the week (not a good idea, since I was starving). Once I came home, I prepped everything I needed for the week. Snacks: bananas, apples, grapes, celery (to eat with PB2), Chia seeds with vitamin water, black bean brownies, and pistachios (my favorite nut).

Then I made cauliflower fried rice and yellow-green salads for a side/lunch/dinner.

For dinner tonight, I'm going to make a healthy spin-off of spaghetti and meatballs using spaghetti squash and vegan meatballs.

This has been a very productive day.

-Miss M

*Recipes on the previous post

Yellow-Green Salad (to-go)

I didn't plan on the colors, they just came out that way. Prepping salads are a life-saver! Or should I say, time-saver!

This recipe yields four, because I basically put 1/4 of everything in a bag (with the exception of the lime--those are halves).

1 big box of fresh spinach
1 can of rinsed garbonzo beans
1 can of corn (no salt added) and rinsed
1 granny smith apple
1 cucumber
1 mango
2 limes (cut in halves)

Put the heavier items on the bottom and the spinach at the top. I don't really use dressing, instead I use half a lime and I mix it with any type of Mrs. Dash's salt-free seasonings.

The simpler, the better! Like the bag says, YUM!

Black Bean Brownies!

I got this recipe from this food blogger here. Although, I'll also copy and paste below. In my version, I omitted the chocolate and peanut butter chips, just to see how the brownie really tasted. Next time however, I'll make sure to add mint chocolate chips! One thing to note is to rinse your black beans to take away that beany taste. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it and I'm sure I'll use it as a pre or post workout snack! Also, I used muffin tins instead of a brownie pan because I knew I would be too lazy to cut them (though I forgot to put cooking spray, so it was a bit stubborn--learn from my mistake!) and I wanted to individually wrap them so I could bring them to school or the gym.

Note that their are other BBB recipes. This was just the simplest one I could find.

Low Calorie Black Bean Brownies Recipe


  • 1 15.5 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup egg beaters egg whites OR 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tbs. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 3/4 cup splenda for baking (or regular granulated sugar)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Dump black beans, applesauce, cocoa powder, egg whites, vanilla extract, splenda and coffee granules into the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. When blended to your satisfaction, stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter chips
  4. Then pour into a baking dish.
  5. Put the brownies in the oven for a half hour and bake until the edges pull away from the sides and a knife inserted comes out clean.

BASIC Cauliflower Fired Rice

I will just say now that I am a basic cook. I like to be as simple as possible. When I heard about cauliflower as a substitute for rice, I had to give it a go! I'm trying to get as much veggies in as possible, so I thought fried rice with mix veggies would be perfect.

So I use an eco non-stick pan that doesn't require cooking spray or oil, so if you must, add it accordingly.

I medium head cauliflower
1 Can of mixed vegetables (Although, I prefer frozen over canned, but seeing as I didn't want to wait for it to defrost, I went with canned this time)
2 eggwhites
black pepper and soy sauce for seasoning

Like I said, this is a very basic recipe. Feel free to add garlic, green onions, your choice of protein, and other additions to your liking.

To prepare the cauliflower, either put it in a food processor to chop, or you can cut it yourself if you have the time.

Rinse/defrost your mixed veggies.

Medium-heat a large pan.

Cook the cauliflower first (or rather, give it a head start) then add the mixed veggies, egg whites, and the seasoning.

I thought it was pretty good, considering I was eating a plate of veggies! I can't wait to use the cauliflower rice with something else. Maybe curry? Hmmm....

Friday, January 18, 2013

Yesterday, was yesterday.

I'm not a writer.

This thought came across my mind yesterday. A web of self-doubt was weaved before my eyes, as my peers and professors threw their comments across the table. Yet, I was the designer of it all. This web that I've caught myself in.

Workshop is workshop. That's all it is. I don't think I'm amazing and I don't have thick skin. Why did I take it so personally? I'm not sure. Maybe it's because I'm too nice. That's what my sister says at least. I need to get mean. Whatever that means. I'm small, petite, with a soft-spoken voice. I don't think mean is in my nature...

Now, I'm living a very temporary life it seems. A life that doesn't seem to belong to me. I feel like I'm just going with it, because I've become so dissociated with the world, that I'm just trying to latch onto anything familiar. The scenery's changed and I guess I'm just seeing where I fit. I understand this is a part of life, but I know I will never fit society's "mold". I won't be what others want me to be, but that doesn't necessarily make things easier. I'll always be on the outside looking in.

And I think that is the reason why I write. So that I can place myself somewhere. So that I can fit within my own design. My own web. I just need to clear away all of the cobwebs that have haunted me and accept what is and go on. I don't write for you or for anyone. I don't write to be heard or recognized.

I write for me.

Writing Exercise #2: I don't have much time left, and I still have a few things left to say...

           “I don’t have much time left, and I still have a few things left to say. My name isn’t Brian Ofla. I lied. My name is Guglameshna Foreska. And I’m not twenty-seven years old. I’m actually one hundred and sixty-eight years old, but it’s equivalent to twenty-seven from where I’m from. Or at least I think so. I’m also not from a small town in Ohio, but from here like you, but from the future. Five hundred and sixty years into the future to be exact. Only, I came back. For you.”
            Analise started laughing. So hard, her body shook.
            “I’m serious!” I said, hoping she would believe me.
            “Aright, Goog-lamesh-ness.”
            “It’s Guglameshna!”
            “Oh right, of course.”
            I grabbed her by the shoulders. “Please. They’re coming for me. But before they do. I. I. I just wanted you to know.”
            Gently, she placed her hand on my cheek, with a large smile on her face. “Okay. I’ll bite. What do you want me to know?”
            “I love you.”
            With that her smiled disappeared, surprised by my declaration. But before she could say anything, I suddenly felt light-headed. I looked at my hands and saw that they were dissipating into small miniscule particles. They had come for me.
            Analise was suddenly afraid, but belief was now in her eyes. I saw her lips move, but I couldn’t hear anything. I was being pulled back to the future at light-speed.

This has become one of my favorite poems. Relatable? I think so!

I’m Over the Moon

By Brenda Shaughnessy
I don’t like what the moon is supposed to do.
Confuse me, ovulate me,

spoon-feed me longing. A kind of ancient
date-rape drug. So I’ll howl at you, moon,

I’m angry. I’ll take back the night. Using me to
swoon at your questionable light,

you had me chasing you,
the world’s worst lover, over and over

hoping for a mirror, a whisper, insight.
But you disappear for nights on end

with all my erotic mysteries
and my entire unconscious mind.

How long do I try to get water from a stone?
It’s like having a bad boyfriend in a good band.

Better off alone. I’m going to write hard
and fast into you, moon, face-fucking.

Something you wouldn’t understand.
You with no swampy sexual

promise but what we glue onto you.
That’s not real. You have no begging

cunt. No panties ripped off and the crotch
sucked. No lacerating spasms

sending electrical sparks through the toes.
Stars have those.

What do you have? You’re a tool, moon.
Now, noon. There’s a hero.

The obvious sun, no bullshit, the enemy
of poets and lovers, sleepers and creatures.

But my lovers have never been able to read
my mind. I’ve had to learn to be direct.

It’s hard to learn that, hard to do.
The sun is worth ten of you.

You don’t hold a candle
to that complexity, that solid craze.

Like an animal carcass on the road at night,
picked at by crows,

taunting walkers and drivers. Your face
regularly sliced up by the moving

frames of car windows. Your light is drawn,
quartered, your dreams are stolen.

You change shape and turn away,
letting night solve all night’s problems alone.

Writing Exercise: My mother never...

            My mother never told me she loved me. Not even when I was born and not even when I had recovered from breast cancer. After my flute recital when I was six, she told me that I played wonderfully. After being awarded student of the year when I was in the eighth grade, she said I was intelligent. The night I went to prom, albeit stag, she told me I was beautiful. A few years later when I graduated from college, she said that I was a worthy role model. On my wedding day, as she held a dampened handkerchief to her eyes, she told me she would miss me. But never did she once tell me she loved me.
            As a child, that was all I wanted. Each year as I blew off the candles on my birthday cake, I wished with all my might that she would say it. Every time I saw a shooting star, she was the person who came to mind. Growing up I realized that birthday wishes don’t come true and shooting stars do not have any power over us. Still. I wanted it more than anything.
            “I love you, mom.” I would say whenever I left her home.
            “Good-bye, dear.” She would always say in reply.
            At the age of ninety-three she passed away in her sleep. It was on the day of her funeral, as her casket was lowered into the earth, when I realized that all my birthday wishes had come true and all of my desires had been granted by those shooting stars. She never once had to tell me that she loved me, because I felt it everyday.
            What are words compared to the look in her eyes? The same look she gave me when I was born, to the last day of her life, and everything else in between.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Week 2

Today marks the end of week two, and now I know what the phrase "mindless eating" means. One week of school and by the end of it, I realized that I hardly thought about what I put in my mouth. I grabbed whatever was available when I was hungry. On the plus side, I did keep up with my workouts, so hopefully that balanced everything.

I do have a solution though. Meal prepping! I spent Sunday bagging up my snacks, making my chia drinks, prepping salads, and etc!

Now, a yummy dinner after body-pump (I'm starting to like lifting. It's wayyyyy different from endurance running. It was challenging at first, but now I'm getting use to it).

Only a month and a half until San Diego!

Happy and healthy days to you all!

-Miss M

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Need for Time

I keep coming up with all these ideas for personal writing projects! If only I had time to put them to paper. If only I had time to edit my current projects. If only I could finish one of my projects. If only school was over.

Nine more weeks to go.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Special thanks to the fan who sent me this!

End of Week 1!

One week into the New Year!!! Whoo! I'm hoping it'll be a good year as long as it doesn't resemble this week I've had. Nonetheless, I'm keeping up with my health and fitness goals. I'm not sure if any of these warrant a recipe, (since they're so simple) so I'm just going to put everything in this post.

I will mention that as a college student, whole foods being a few blocks away from campus is a lifesaver, because I love their salads.

My go to breakfast this week has been oatmeal. The flavor of the week is cinnamon banana. Just make your rolled oats as you normally would, add sliced bananas, cinnamon, and sweetner if you need it. Great way to start your day.

Also, I've found that I LOVE sweet potatoes!

Homemade sweet potato fries are way better than the prepackaged ones I use to buy.

Even when they're baked their yummy. I had to have one on the side to go with my shrimp, cucumber, corn salad for dinner the other night.

But my love for sweet potatoes doesn't end there.

I'll even have it with breakfast alongside turkey bacon and a honey crisp apple (not pictured). As for the drink, I've found that I like putting chia seeds in vitamin water. I had this before my bodypump workout over the weekend and by the end of the class, I wasn't as tired as I thought I'd be. I think it was the sweet potato that did it ;]

Today, after I had a very horrible day (although I did have a very good cardio session), I needed a pick me up. This time I didn't reach for one of my typical comfort foods. Instead I made this:

Cod fish cooked with some lemon and pepper, corn, and an iceberg salad with avocado and tangerines. Now some pomegranate raspberry green tea to soothe my soul.

Wishing all of you a happy and healthy day.

-Miss M

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Superfood: Chia Seeds

I wanted to see what the chia seed hype was so I bought some at whole foods!

I made chia seed pudding with almond milk and it tasted pretty good. The texture reminds me of sweet basil seed drinks that I liked as a kid.

Here's an article from the New York Times about chia seeds.
Here's a link on uses for chia seeds and a link for recipe ideas.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Start of My Life

The first of the year is filled with resolutions. I woke up and completely dreaded the New Year because of the task I had set before myself seemed too daunting. Too grand for me to complete within a year. That's not the way I should have woken up though. I should have been excited! So I edited my list. In my last post I wrote about wanting to finish a manuscript. After receiving e-mails from my professors and already having to do homework before the quarter even started, I realized this may not be feasible. So I cut the word count by more than half. 40,000 words by my Birthday, and then complete if after. That is attainable. I feel better already.

Although writing is my priority, I have other things in mind this year. This year, is where I begin. It's the year where I get to be who I've always wanted to be. Two years ago, I succumbed to obligations and duties that others set before me. I was unhappy, confused, and felt like the life I was living wasn't mine, because I was living for everyone else. Doing things that pleased them instead of doing the things that I loved. So 2012 marked the end of that. I edited my life. Cut out everything that held me down, cut ties with those who were negative influences, and then I started doing things I've always wanted to do. I stopped caring about what others thought about me and started valuing the opinion I had of myself. No longer would I be defined by the standards that others set before me.

This year, school will be over. I will no longer have that crutch or safety net. I will finally step out into the "real world". No more moving back and forth. No more driving back and forth. And no more looking back or ahead. Just living in the moment. I know that's easier said then done, but I'm up for the challenge.

Another thing I like about the first of the year is all the health and fitness craze. The other day I was watching a documentary about obesity in America, and I was inspired to get on the band wagon. Although I spent the last year running, I realized that I had fallen victim to the freshmen fifteen! Now that college is about to be over, its about time that I took responsibility for it (because that's not the type of souvenir I want to keep!). So for the next three months, I'll make sure to share easy and simple recipes for those on the bandwagon too! Starting with:

Banana-egg Pancakes!

Mash one large banana and mix it with one whole egg. You'll get a pancake type batter. Cook in a nonstick pan over medium heat, until both sides are golden. I like mine a little bit more well done when it comes to these pancakes so I made mine a darker brown. Feel free to mix in carob or cacao chips, raisins, blueberries, or anything you want! Be creative! For today, I went with the plain pancake and topped it off with some syrup. The recipe was inspired by a photo I saw on Instagram.

Approx: 190 cals for three pancakes

Here's how mine turned out this morning. I had it with some turkey bacon (it looks weird in the photo, but tasted yummy). And of course, some black coffee! I was so hungry I took a bite before taking the photo :P

Now, a walk with my dogs, a two-mile run, a trip to whole foods, and a day filled with job applications and writing assignments!

Wishing you all a great first of the year!

-Miss M