Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chia Cookies and Eating Better

Man, am I coming off of bad food weekend. With me finally being done my physical therapy to fix my overused feet muscles, I'm easing slowly into more miles. This means my appetite is creeping on back up and I'm feeling it. With special events this weekend and being a cranky mood for most of it as well, I haven't eaten the best (think ribs, BBQ brisket, too much candy from work, frozen margaritas, chips, lack of vegetables and fruit...gross!). I woke up feeling gross and ready to recalibrate my eating.

I went to yoga today and the yogi started the practice by saying that we should focus on what we plan to take from the session. One thing I took from the practice today was that when I pushed myself and focused, I was capable of much more than I thought I could. As I walked back from yoga in my calm, relaxed stupor, I thought about how that could translate to my eating. Last week's not great eating came partially from not focusing on doing the best for my body, as well as not preparing healthy foods to have around me. I am going to focus on that this week and hope my yoga strength carries over.

To start off the week with a bang, I made an adaptation of PeaSoupEat's Chia Cookies, (which was adapted from Vegetarian Times).

Chia Cookies
Servings: approximately 11 cookies (1 Tablespoon each)

  • 1 cup dates (pits removed or you'll break your food processor)
  • 1/8 c chia seeds
  • 2 Tb cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c raw whole almonds
  • 1/4 - 1/2 c slivered almonds (sliced almonds would actually be better, but I didn't have them)
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract
  1. Put dates into food processor and process until it turns into a paste. 
  2. Next, add the chia seeds, cocoa powder, and whole almonds and process until all mixed and combined. 
  3. Add in the slivered almonds (my processor only held the 1/4 c of these, but a larger one could hold 1/2 c) and vanilla and process until they are incorporated into the mix. 
  4. Measure out dough into one tablespoon servings and place onto a plate.
  5. Refrigerate until firmer and portion out into serving sizes of your liking. 
  6. Enjoy!!!
Not only was this easy to make, it was delicious!
These turned out so amazingly delicious. They were, in my opinion, a tastier Lara Bar. They're great for you, yummy, and a perfect snack to tide me over at work. Not only are they delicious, they are really quite good for you.  I did a bit of a nutritional analyzation of them and I can't wait to snack on them all week. Even if I eat two servings, it is a nutritional and filling snack. 
I am happy to be kick-starting the week with a good attitude and a determination to take my healthy eating more seriously. I picked up a ton of veggies from Reading Terminal Market and am prepping meals that I can eat throughout the week (including Oh She Glows' Wheat Berry and Bean Salad, which is to die for). With my 24 hour race less than 3 weeks away, I'm steadily training physically, but not fueling myself like I should all the time. It'll be a test of my will, but I am determined. 
Super healthy! :D
I also plan on writing everything I eat down and planning out my workouts for each week. I normally plan my workouts, but I don't ever write down my eating. I'd plan out any other challenge in life, so why not my eating? This blog post is also part of the push for me. This is all very personal and honestly, kind of embarrassing, so making this public will definitely push me. On that note, a healthy and veggie-filled dinner needs to be cooked. :D

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beer Week Celebration -- Beer Ratings!

Okay, so beer week technically is over, but John and I ended up celebrating it accidentally. After my graduation ceremony this past Saturday, we went to The Foodery, a local beer store that has hundreds of beers from around the world. We created a 6-pack of random beers (I chose three and he chose three) and decided to split each one and do our own ratings. John actually created the rating system that was 10 points in total, 3 for drinkability, 3 for flavor and aroma, and 4 for general impression. I thought it would be fun to show you all our scores!

First, here is a picture of all the beers we drank with their names.
L to R: RJ Rocker's Son of a Peach Wheat Ale, Dopplesticke Uerige Ale,
Samuel Smith Pure Brewed Lager,  Lagunitas Czech Style Pilsner,
St. Peter's Old-Style Porter, Monk's Sour Flemish Red Ale
Okay, here go the ratings, broken up by John's ratings, then my ratings. First up is RJ Rocker's Son of a Peach Wheat Ale. 

Strong peach flavor and aroma. Couldn't imagine drinking a lot of it due to how sweet it was, but  enjoyed what I had. Rating: 7

This was obviously a beer I chose. When I travled to Belgium, I fell in love with Peche, or peach, beer. It is crazy expensive to get imported Peche beers here, so I was so happy to see a domestic one! Before you even drink it, the smell is purely peachy and sweet...mmm. It isn't nearly as sweet as the smell leads you to believe and has a bitter after taste like most ales. Rating: 8

Next is the Dopplesticke Uerige Ale. 

Surprisingly light for a dark beer with a higher ABV (8.5%) and a rich aroma. Liked this one a lot. Rating: 9

Like most beers that are not lagers of fruit flavored, I felt it was bitter. I actually liked it more than most darker beers as it did have a slightly rich and and fruity flavor. Definitely full in body. Rating: 6.5

Third up is Samuel Smith Pure Brewed Lager.

I did not like this beer. It did not seem to have much flavor and with every swallow, I felt myself dreading the next. Rating: 4

This beer was very light in flavor and carbonation. It started with an almost fruity flavor, but the more I drank it, the less flavorful it got and the less I liked it. It almost got watery. I could drink this at a bar and fool people into thinking I was drinking some awesome British lager, but it tasted a lot like PBR or any other cheap light beer. Rating: 6

Fourth up is the Lagunitas Czech Style Pilsner. 

Nothing remarkable about this beer; it was just a light Pilsner. Rating: 5

After having some of the fruitier beers, I was worried I would hate this beer. I didn't! Maybe my palate is maturing? It still has a bitter aftertaste that I don't love, but since it is a lighter beer, it is more enjoyable. Rating: 7.5

Fifth up is St. Peter's Old-Style Porter. 

Surprisingly light porter and I enjoyed every drop. No distinct aroma or flavor, but good nonetheless. Rating: 8

Alright, what is going on? The second I poured this beer and couldn't see through it, I immediately wrote it off. It was pretty darn delicious, though! Dare I say it, it was almost mild in taste. I kept waiting for the bitter aftertaste, but it didn't come. I am excited that I'm starting to enjoy beers I wouldn't have liked before. Rating: 7

The final beer was Monk's Sour Flemish Red Ale. 

Sour aftertaste; it is true to it's name. Conflicted about this beer. I thought all of the elements were there as it had a nice aroma and robust flavor. For some reason, I did not really enjoy drinking it, though. Rating: 6

Okay, so this is a cheat because I have had this beer once before. I love how it reminds me of a hard cider, but isn't as sweet, therefore I could have more than one and enjoy it. Rating: 8

So after all of the ratings, we have three winners! The Son of a Peach and Sour Flemish Ale tied for me with a rating of 8. John's winner was the Dopplesticke Uerige Ale with a rating of 9. 

Myself and John with our favorite beers!
Getting a little goofy with our beers.
We had a lot of fun doing this and hopefully we can do this again soon! Not going to lie, the 6-pack cost $30, so not sure we'll be doing this every week, but hopefully this can be something we do and I blog about frequently. Cheers!