Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stocking Up

What's a girl to do when on a solo vacation and her fridge is empty?

STOCK UP is correct!

After a much need java and egg/salsa burrito from Mocha Mott's I headed out to one of my favorite grocery stores.  Cronig's Market on the island is the perfect mix of pantry essentials and quirky foodie items I adore.
Source

While enjoying my coffee I went online and searched for some simple, healthy and yummy recipes to fill up my fridge and tummy.
I love my lists!
My plan was to decide on what I wanted for meals over the next few days.
I ended up deciding on:

  • Green smoothies for breakfasts and post yoga snacks.  
  • Quinoa/Bean salads for lunch (good to pack for the beach).
  • Cucumbers and Carrots with hummus for snacking
  • Turkey wraps for lunch
  • Pasta & Pesto (vegan/no oil version!) for dinner
  • Cashew butter (who am I kidding, that will be used in many many meals!)
At the market I tried to stick to my list as close as possible but sometimes an impulse purchase has to be made.  I think my biggest impulse purchase today was a box of planted wheat grass for $4.99.  I have read so much about it so I will add it to my smoothie tomorrow and see how it turns out.

Ok so what did I snag to make these wonderful dishes above?


Smoothie:

  • Bananas
  • Green apple
  • Lemon
  • Minced ginger (in a jar)
  • Almond Milk
  • Spinach/Kale/Rainbow Chard (I like to change it up with the different flavors)
  • Frozen pineapple (my fav smoothie ingredient)
  • Frozen Blueberries

Quinoa/Bean Salad

  • Bulk bin quinoa
  • Adzuki beans (canned)
  • Mixed beans (canned)
  • Local roma tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Lemon
  • Green Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Braggs Ginger & Sesame Vinegrette
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese
Turkey Wraps

  • Ezekiel Sprouted Tortilla wraps
  • Organic Applegate Roasted Turkey
  • Garlic Hummus
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber

Pasta with Pesto (AMAZING!!) This came out sooo good!  I was a bit shocked but will post the full recipe later

  • Spinach Pasta
  • Minced Garlic (in a jar)
  • Raw Cashews
  • Basil (A Ton, no buy more!  yeah that much!!)
  • Nutritional Yeast (or Parmesan Cheese)
  • Avocado (yeah, I wrote that correctly... not Olive Oil, AVOCADO!  Do it!)

Miscellaneous

  • Giant Smart water (wanted to bottle for yoga)
  • Limes (may or may not be for the Corona's...just saying)
  • Eggs
  • TP/Paper towels
  • Straws (for smoothies)

Thanks to some early summer planning our tiny yard already has mint and scallions in it.  I think I am prepped and ready for a few days of yummy healthy eating.  No where is that lime...

How do you stock up for vacation eating?  


Do you try and make your own meals or say eff it and just go out to eat and embrace the gluttony of vacation? 

Vacation has begun!

I made it to the island last night!  After battling traffic and my obvious lack of skill with securing a kayak to the roof of my car I arrived in one piece.  I forget how dark the cape/islands are at night compared to downtown Boston.  ( I love it!!)

This morning I woke without my alarm and made the trek over to Mocha Mott's. Hands down my favorite coffee shop in the world.  With coffee and egg burrito in hand (no cheese, more on that later) I returned to the cottage to relax.

Heaven in cup?  YES!!!!

So here I am now, enjoying my java watching America's Next Top Model and searching through Oh She Glows recipes to create my shopping list for the week!  I mentioned earlier this week that part of plans for this vacation is a mini reboot for my system.
now to see if I can stick to the list!

With work, post work gatherings and weekend splurges I have just felt blahh the last few months.  So I am going to stock up on healthy, healing and delicious treats and eat my way to vacation bliss this week.  I might even try a few of the vegan desserts and see if I can trick my two special guests next week (fabulous 7 & 5 year old little ladies).  If I can fool them then I will call the challenge success!

Ok friends, enjoy your day!  After grocery shopping I predict a beach visit and then hot yoga at 5!!!



How do you recharge on vacation?  Do you try something new, sightsee till you drop or just park yourself on the beach?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Vacation for the Mind & Body

On Wednesday I kick off my annual summer vacation. For almost 10 days I will be on the island of Martha's Vineyard soaking up the sun!

For the past several years I have scheduled this week with no real plans in mind and not even with a set guest list.  I leave it open to family and friends: I will be there and you are welcome to join me for all or part of it. (Just call first ok?  Small cottage = limited beds!)

This year I have friends coming down more towards the second half of the week.  I am over the moon with excitement to show their girls the island for the first time! (Illumination, Fire Works, The Ag Fair!) To see the island from a child's eyes will be an experience I have not had since I was their age.
Grand Illumination!

Sightseeing Up Island!

There is something so freeing about going on vacation by yourself.  It gives you time to do what you wish, sleep in and basically recharge without worrying if your companions/guests are bored.

My thinking spot! And overall happiest spot on the planet!
I would be lying if I didn't admit to you all that the thing I am most excited for is for a few days of solo time to recharge myself mentally and physically. I love having company and showing off the island, but I am need of some "me time" to reset my goals/plans for the rest of 2011.  It may not sound like fun to some of you but I plan on spending the first 4-5 days on the island doing the following things:
  • Morning and evening kayak rides to soak up the scenery
  • Walking aimlessly throughout the towns of MV people watching, and exploring tidal pools.
  • Lots and lots of yoga (buying a 10 class pass and hoping to dive deep into my 21 day challenge)
  • A pseudo cleanse - basically it means taking advantage of all the on island produce and eating as much yummy seasonal veggie goodness as I can get! Being solo will make it easier to have a giant smoothie for breakfast, veggies for dinner and not feel guilty when I don't go out to eat. Or making sure dinner is good for the whole group (again, I LOVE guests, but my tummy and waistline could use a few days free from cheese/appetizers and pre-dinner cocktails)
  • The BEACH!  When you have a house full, just getting to the can be a chore in itself.  Solo Beth can grab a towel, beach chair, iPod, kindle, hat and some snacks and be off for as long or as short as I like.  Plus I can go early or late cause' it is just me (good lord I sound like a super hermit in this post....)
  • READ!  I spend 98% of my year reading technical magazines, regulatory documents and/or food magazines.  I usually only get to enjoy "free reading" when I fly.  So to have 10 days with nothing but a kindle full of fun reading is like Xmas to this girl!  First up Game of Thrones and then I have a list a mile long from my sister and roommate.  
I am pretty sure that by the time my guests arrive I will be jumping with excitement for company (and cocktails). I am thinking of this as my own mini Eat Pray Love adventure.

One girl, One island, One week and hopefully a lot of time to reflect and re-energize!
    Do you take time out for yourself to recharge throughout the week/month/year?  

    Do you go go go on vacation or pick a spot on a beach and stay there all week?

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    21 Days of Yoga Update

    It has been 8 days since I accepted my Yoga Challenge.

    I will admit that I have not been good at all about getting to a studio for a class.  However, I have made yoga a part of my daily routine at home and at the office.
    Source - I am not doing that much yoga at the office just yet!

    I have a plan to really get into some intensive yoga later this week on my vacation but first I thought I would share with you all how I am including yoga in 5, 10 and 20 minute intervals.
    Beach yoga anyone? It is coming!!!!
    Cable On Demand
    On Demand has come a long way since it first was introduced.  I know on my Comcast On Demand there are many rotating yoga/pilates routines available that vary in time, ability and are FREE!  So you can change up your morning/pm routine and not feel bad about buying new DVDs all the time.

    DVDs
    Ok, Sometime you just want to know that your favorite routine will always be at hand.  Thankfully most workout DVDs are under $10 and you can easily travel with them and make any hotel room your personal yoga studio.  I also love this too because a yoga at home routine takes up much less space in my tiny bedroom when doing a morning workout then say P90X or some other space needing exercise.

    Yoga Download.com
    This website is GREAT!  Not only are there a ton of free podcasts, videos and tutorials but like On Demand it is constantly changing.  I personally use these when traveling and at the office.  The 5 minute office Yoga routine is my personal favorite come 3pm.  Those five minutes wake me up and take the pain from my shoulders that sitting at a desk all day creates.

    Apple iPod Apps
    Source
    OK, I am assuming you own some sort of smart phone, iPod or tablet device.  If so, you have access to literally 1000s of yoga apps.  Some provide basic techniques on poses and breathing.  Others provide chakras and meditations along with poses.  Whether you are willing to spend $10 or $0 dollars there is probably an app for you.  Currently I have the following on my iPod (available from the iTunes store).  I love the chakras to listen to when traveling, on the subway or just after a long day trying to zen out before bed.
    iChakra
    Authentic Yoga
    Stress Free - Deepak Chopra

    I am really looking forward to my vacation later this week (post on that coming soon).  One of the main objectives on vacation is to get back to the things I love.. Yoga, Running and Kayaking.  I have already found a studio online that has a flexible schedule and is near my cottage.  I am hoping 10 days of yoga will get my yogi groove back and have me excited about making it a bigger priority when I am back into my normal routine.

    Do you have any late summer goals for yourself? 

    How do you find time to do yoga or other exercise/fitness into your normal daily routine?

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Puzzles Bar - My Version

     This post comes from several places of inspiration.
    • First my fabulous roommate Chuck who told me to start writing  typing when the topic of "What our perfect bar would have" came up for the 1 millionth time! 
    • Second, I am always judging pubs/restaurants and bars and saying "This place would be great if it had _______!"

    Source
    Soooo...  the roomie and I have combined brains and decided to share with you all our perfect bar!  If you are independently wealthy and are bored, please feel free to build my dream bar here in Boston!

    I will even make you dinner to thank you!!!  Oh and if you also happen to be over 6', single and are constantly mistaken for Ryan Reynolds then by all means call me :) We can chat bar design and a our wedding on a beach
    Oh Hello there, why yes.. I would love to build your dream bar and laugh at all your jokes

    Welcome to Quita's Tavern!

    Highlights include:
    • Hooks for my purse at the bar!
    Look ma.. No hands!!!!
    • Walking distance to my apartment (I loathe the T and taxis at night...)
    • A cheeseburger and fries combo that makes me cry with joy
    • A selection of beers from down the block and around the globe (ie: Harpoon, Offshore Ale, Cisco, Pretty Things, Notch Session, Guinness, Anchor Steam, YUENGLING, Murphy's Irish Stout, Brooklyn Ale, Zywiecz)


    • A place where I can sit at the bar at 11am and watch Premire League Futbol in my sweats (yes sweats!, Don't judge!!!) but also arrive at 11pm with the girls for a night out
    • A bartender that makes me feel like Norm
    • Fried Pierogi's 
    • Nachos w/ Guacamole! (you should not be allowed to serve nachos without guac! )
    • Friendly local yocals that don't know me but treat me like their daughter (read old men/day drinkers)
    • Hot men who work construction but are not creepy at all for us to chat with while playing....
    • Trivia! (who doesn't love Trivia)
    • BEER PONG!
    • A friendly neighborhood puppy who comes to visit me while I eat, otherwise he sits under the bar where he is too cool to be bothered
    • Clean bathrooms that never have a line
    • Beef Stew in the winter
    • Raw bar in the summer

    • Stiff cocktails w/ blue cheese stuffed olives that are mandatory after a long week


    •  A Bloody Mary that comes with BACON


    So basically what I am looking for is someone to build me a huge "Super Mode Optimus Prime" like version of all my favorite pubs that I have been to around Massachusetts and the world.  That is not too much to ask is it?  Didn't think so....   Great, Grand, Wonderful!!!!

    So what would your favorite bar look like/have in it?


    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Netflix Changed the Way I Look at Food?!

    Yeah I said it...  A company with no ties to the food industry or my fridge has made me rethink every trip to the market, my menu choices and my hidden love for Mcy D's Chicken Nuggets....
    Source

    Throughout the past few weeks I have been on a documentary kick... I have been watching documentaries on everything from how to make beer, ancient Egypt, evolution of modern man and his progression across the globe (amazing doc by the way!) to MANY MANY docs on our current food system in the US.

    After my guest post from James at "Food on the Table" I have been thinking more and more about the meat I buy and eat. Netflix allowed me to delve deeper into where the food I am buying at the market each week is coming from by streaming a ton of docs all focused on the food industry.

    Now don't close this page just yet thinking I am going to become so uber vegetarian that tells you not to eat meat!  Quite the contrary, I think meat is an amazing food choice and part of a wonderful diet that should include a bit of everything. That and the thought of never having one of my mother's perfect meatballs ever again is too depressing to comprehend!

    So you ask... "Beth, what the gif are you watching?" Have no fear, I have listed the documentaries below but I wanted to give you a general "book report" summary of what I took away from them all first.

    As always, this blog is all my opinion.  I am not a nutritionist or a doctor, just a girl who loves food, wants to know more about what I eat. That and I  have the constant need to over-share with complete strangers over the interwebs.  Before you think about changing your diet, please speak with your doctor/ nutritionist or your mom (moms know best right? or was that fathers.. oh well, i am getting off topic!)


    I will leave it to you to decide which documentaries you want to watch.

    The common thread through all these films is that the food we buy and prepare or enjoy at restaurants is drastically different than that of our parents and grandparents.

    What I learned that really bothered me and made me sit up and take note:

    • Today our meat comes from several major slaughter houses, 
    • Feeding cows a corn based diet is actually KILLING them! Their systems are not meant to digest a corn based diet.
    • The majority of our produce is shipped 1000s of miles before it gets to us (meaning its weeks old before you get it) 
    • And we are eating huge amounts of processed foods stuffed full of corn, hydrogenated oils and other preservatives.
    • Agriculture in the U.S. is run by lobbyists and politicians and not by consumer demand or variety of produce.
    • Corn and Soybeans in the U.S. are being genetically modified and some seed types are actually patented by large companies.
    • French Fries are considered a vegetable in US School Lunch Programs!
    Depressing Right?!  I know... Watching a few of these docs really made me sad and left me with a desire to pack up and move to a farm, going off the grid and living off the land.  I like to think I eat healthy 90% of the time and the realization that the food I am buying is hurting my body before I even begin to think of covering it in cheese or butter was too much for this foodie to accept!


    There is good news though my friends!  With all this gloom and doom comes a ray of hope.  There is a huge movement throughout the US and Canada to go back to the basics.  
    • Farmer's markets are sprouting up all over the US including inner city/urban neighborhoods who are in desperate need of affordable and healthy produce.
    • Local farms are raising free range, grass fed and happy cows, pigs and chickens to sell at local markets
    • Mainstream media is starting to see the affects of 50 years of industrialized agriculture/butchering and helping to affect change.

    I don't want to lecture any of you so I won't go on and on about each film (I leave that torture to my mom and co-workers who for some reason continue to listen to my rants about each film I watch. I am sorry guys!)

    I want this post to inspire you to educate yourself about what you buy, where you buy it and how you decide to prepare it.  Food should make you feel alive, energized and ready to conquer the day, not sluggish and depressed.  These films will hopefully give you the knowledge to decide what you put in your cart the next time you are at the supermarket or out for dinner.

    I would love to hear what you all think about these issues after watching a few films.  Do you think I am a crazy lady for watching all these films or do you think there might be something here.

    Not sure this post is coherent to anyone... To be honest, I have been working on writing it for a few weeks now.  I have taken in so much information from these films and I want to share it all with you. Trying to focus this post into one theme has been harder than I thought.  So instead of spending another 2 weeks editing this, I am leaving it to you!  These films are here for you to review, digest and reflect on.  Good luck!


    Food Related Documentaries:

    Deconstructing Supper: Is Your Food Safe?

    Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

    Food, Inc.

    Foodmatters

    Ingredients

    King Corn (Green Packaging)

    Super Size Me

    The Future of Food

    To Market, To Market: To Buy a Fat Pig

    What's on Your Plate?


    Monday, August 1, 2011

    21 days

    Every Sunday I tell myself that tomorrow morning I am going to wake up and complete a yoga routine before work.  Then like clock work every Monday morning my alarm goes off and I hit the snooze button for a good 25-40 minutes (yeah! i wish i was kidding...).

    I need some sort of challenge or inspiration to get me going... Thankfully the wonderful Jenna sent out a challenge to her readers today that is right up my alley!

    21 days of yoga. What I love about this challenge is that I am not expected to complete 90 minutes of hot yoga a day.  Any time spent on the mat over 5 minutes will count.  Slow and steady is exactly what I need to get me going.

    So I think if I can hit the snooze for 30 minutes a day I can commit to getting my arse out of bed for 20-60 minutes of yoga over the next 3 weeks.

    Anyone care to join me?  Either on your own or meeting me for a class.  I think we can all save 5 minutes a day to focus on ourselves!

    I am also hoping to mix in a few post work Bikram classes to really get my sweat on.