Wellness Wednesday: Blue

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Conflicted.  That pretty much sums up my entire Wednesday.  This morning, I got up to go for a run (after my hot lemon water and some stretching of course!).  I got less than a mile into my run before I turned around unexpectedly, deciding I just wasn’t feeling that particular trail.  So then I run all the way back to the beginning and set out in an entirely different direction, thinking that would solve everything.  It didn’t.  Over a mile into that route, that path wasn’t right either.  Exasperated with indecision, I ended up running over to the high school and doing laps around the football field until I was good and spent.  My pace was decent according to my Nike app, but my mentality wasn’t.

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Then came time to decide which delicious blue food recipe I was going to feature today, and again I was met with conflicting emotions and indecision.  Since only one “blue” food really exists in the natural food world (with the exception of some very rare blue potatoes), blueberries were the obvious food choice.  There’s no variety in the blue category, and I hate when I’m left without a choice!  Blueberries are super delicious, though.  But what to make with them?  I usually just eat them raw, or I add them to juice and use the pulp in popsicles.  I didn’t want to juice them since I was in too much of a hurry to really be able to preserve the pulp today, so I went for a smoothie.  I don’t have a specific recipe for this one, but basically a few (like 3 or 4) heaping handfuls of spinach went into my blender, followed by my pint of blueberries from the market and some silken tofu (about half a brick).  I added about a cup and a half of unsweetened almond milk and blended that sucker till it was creamy and totally liquid.

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Man was that just what the doctor ordered after an hour of running!  Feel free to add your own sweetener to this blend (agave, honey, stevia, etc.).  A lot of people don’ t think my smoothies or juices are sweet enough, but I personally am not huge on super-sweet concoctions (I understand I’m pretty much alone in this!).  Since my first juice fast in July 2011, my cravings for sugar have gone down significantly, and I don’t always use sweeteners. Currently, I don’t even have any type of sweeteners in my home.  Like I said though, a couple tablespoons of agave may be just the key to making this smoothie your new go-to breakfast concoction!

If you head over to my good friend Allison’s Allison in Wellness Land, you’ll find some rockin’ info about blueberry nutrition on top of another awesome blueberry recipe with only two ingredients!  Allison shows how to make Blueberry-Chia Jam, and it’s crazy good! Can’t get more simple/healthy/delicious than that!

Not every day is perfect.  I’m not always a 100% up-and-at-em, vegany power superhero (as some of my friends would put it).  Some days, I wanna say screw it, just like you do, crank up Alanis Morisette, and scream at every car I see on the road, even though I know they can’t hear me.  We all have those days. While I can’t say I got a whole lot of emotional satisfaction from today, I am able to reflect on the fact that despite my moodiness, I was able to run over five miles, contribute to a very satisfying inter-professional meeting at Case, and eat some very healthy meals.  Being able to see those accomplishments in print makes my day a bit more satisfying than I thought it was!

What do you do when you’re having an off day?  Are you able to see positive actions even in the midst of conflict and indecision?  Comment below and let me know how you get over your less-than-perfect moments.

Here’s to hoping tomorrow holds less conflict and more clarity.

Stay happy, stay healthy!

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Cilantro Rice & Black Beans + Guacamole Salsa

This Cilantro Rice and Black Bean dish is filling and simple, not to mention delicious!  For all you non-vegans, feel free to add a little chicken or other meats to this dish, but it is just as satisfying and filling without!

Good Morning, or should I say afternoon?  After a relaxing 30-minute yoga session this morning, I decided it was time to do some “spring cleaning”.  That meant organizing the shoe rack, vacuuming incessantly, scrubbing down stove burners, etc.  Needless to say, I worked up quite an appetite!  I’ve spent the last couple days grazing on things here and there, but haven’t spent too much time in the kitchen really preparing something great.  I’ve just been too busy with work, friends, and the need to be outside enjoying this amazing weather!  Not to mention it’s about time to head to the grocery store; I’m “down to the dregs” as my grandmother would put it.  So, what to make out of a cupboard not-so-full of food? I’ll tell you right now: My first thought was to drive over to Chipotle and reward my cravings with a delicious burrito bowl and call it a day.  The grocery store is right next door!  As I was trying to reason with myself and justify spending 7 bucks on a single meal, I realized I have just about everything I need for a little Chipotle knockoff!  To the lab… I mean kitchen!

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Brown rice, black beans, salsa… everything I needed was right here in my own kitchen!  I even had chips and a brown paper bag to make the “Chipotle” experience authentic.  If I had the foresight to soak black beans last night, I would have made them from scratch, but luckily I had a can just waiting to be rinsed!  The rice is a hard thing to recreate, but I threw in a pretty generous handful of freshly chopped cilantro and squeezed half a lime into the pot and it wasn’t half bad!  The rice and beans are the staple of any meal I order at Chipotle, and so is the guac and salsa. 

I didn’t have any premade salsa from the store, but I threw some tomatoes, scallions, onions, jalapenos, and fresh cilantro into my trusty Ninja and pulsed to perfection. What about the guac, though?  By this time, I was absolutely famished, so I threw an avocado into the salsa, squeezed the other half of the lime, and blended until I had a creamy, spicy salsa-guac hybrid.  Holy Katie was it delicious!  I added a few freshly chopped tomato slices on top of the concoction and voila! I had an amazing meal without having to leave the house unnecessarily! ANDDDD it saved me 7 bucks, and I am ALWAYS a fan of saving things… especially money!

The rest of my afternoon was spent hanging out with Seether, my ball python.  He loves to hang on me while I stretch and do lunges in my living room; he just soaks up the sun while I sweat it out!  We snuggled up on the couch after that (as well as a snake can snuggle) to watch The League on Netflix.  Here he is getting cozy in the blanket.  Then I got to take a relaxing nap before a gorgeous 5 mile run on the trails! All in all, it was a beautiful day.  There was no juice unfortunately, but a quick run to the grocery store later tonight will remedy that!

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Until next time, be well and eat well!

-K

Beans and Rice

  • 1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ lime
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 2 small vine-ripened tomatoes (or one medium) chopped (I like huge chunks of tomatoes, but some people like them smaller)

Cook the rice as instructed (generally 2 cups of water per cup of rice and simmer for 20-50 minutes).  When the rice looks almost done, add the cilantro and juice from the lime.  Mix everything together.

Once the rice is completely cooked, add in the black beans and tomatoes and stir until everything is hot.  I also topped everything off with some salad greens after adding the guacamole salsa and mixed everything together.

Guacamole Salsa

  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 small/medium vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 4-6 scallions, chopped
  • 6-7 stems of cilantro
  • ½ red onion, small
  • 1 large avocado
  • Juice from ½ lime

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Throw everything into your food processor, Ninja, Vitamix, etc. and blend until smooth!  Add generously to top off your black beans and rice, and use the rest as chip dip!