So to state the obvious, I have not posted in a long time. I am not going to share some personal details, but here is a quick and dirty recap…
– Got an awesome job that swallowed up the majority of my time. Traveling alot and generally busy. Something had to be cut and the blog was it…
– Shortly after getting the job, I lost it. The funding for the program was cut and therefore, I was no longer getting paid. I am not bitter as I am a firm believer of things happening for a reason. I also learned a lot and had an awesome time working with people to make them healthier!
– After losing the job, I have been not into writing for a variety of reasons. Those will remain nameless for now…
And that brings me to now. I’m writing a lot. I’ve got a gig where I am writing a monthly column for a website on healthy eating (if you are visiting from that website, Hi ;). I am also writing a weekly column on exercise for a program here that is similar to Biggest Loser. I have also been doing a couple speaking engagements and informative sessions regarding nutrition and exercise. I’m still recipe testing, and the last thing that I tested was a fabulous Nut Bundt Cake. It was so fantastic that people were coming back for slice after slice. In addition to that, I am working on a contract to do some personal training and group exercise instruction. More to come on that…
I was also fortunate enough to be sent to Boston to the Benson Henry Mind-Body Institute for the program that I was formerly employed by. The training was outstanding and it was an absolute honor to be working with some of the leading experts in the field of mind-body health and stress reduction through the relaxation response. I also had never been to Boston and it was an awesome experience. I found an outstanding raw vegan place – Grezzo – in the North End and ended up spending most of my meals there. I had never experienced raw “cheese” before and absolutely fell in love :). I have tried unsuccessfully to recreate one of their cheeses and am still on the food warpath. Anyone have a fantastic raw “cheese” recipe? I was really tempted to get some to take back with me, but I was envisioning the stuff exploding in my suitcase as the airport workers tossed them into a carriage. Oh well. They also had a raw “cheesecake” dessert that I could probably eat everyday for the remainder of my life. I cannot speak enough good things about this restaurant and the food. The waitress (I cannot remember her name) was fantastic as well.
There were more, but that should be enough to whet your appetite. For those of you not in the know, raw food is typically kept below 112 degrees. So none of this food was “cooked.” I am not really sure that I buy into the idea behind why raw food is better than other ways of eating, but that food was fantastic so it really didn’t matter to me. It was definitely a culture shock being back in the States as well.
Around here, I have done a bit of traveling but not as much as I would have liked. So far, I’ve been to Nuremburg, Munich, Flossenburg, Pottenstein, Vienna, and Bled (Slovenia). I am whittling the list of travel locations as I am understanding that it will not all happen. There is a potential for a camping trip in the Alps coming soon, but I’m not sure about that. The weather has gotten fantastic and I feel as though we are being rewarded for a super difficult winter.
The Germans know how to celebrate too, and they have a carnival to welcome spring! So we went to the fair yesterday and it was an interesting experience. The people watching was completely worth it. We ended up riding the ferris wheel and another ride that just spins around but is fairly tame because my heart can’t handle intensity. Anyway, the thing that struck me is that the food for a German fair is not the same as the food in the States at a fair. The trend at US fairs is to fry everything both imaginable and unimaginable (fried spaghetti and meatballs on a stick?). At the German fair, you had the following options…crepes with fresh strawberries or nutella; corn on the cob; baguettes with a variety of toppings (to include a bruschetta type thing which was fantastic!) and then toasted; giant beers – German style; “Chinese food” = mainly noodles with either chicken or veggies; fish sandwiches; and sausages. There was one booth with funnel cakes, but for the most part there was a glaring lack of fried PB and J sandwiches and fried Oreos.
Another change that I have made with my diet is to incorporate oatmeal. My mom doesn’t like oatmeal so I never really ate it as a child. Then, all my blogger people began eating overnight oats, regular oats, and savory oats (like here, oh and here , and do not forget here). So as the final holdout on the non-oatmeal boxcar, I have decided to jump to the oatmeal bandwagon. Hey, its not like I’m jumping onto the all things fried bandwagon ;). I have since fallen in love with them. However, I now know that I do not like them soupy. That grosses me out. I have also graduated from overnight oats (which are good) to stovetop oats (which may/may not be better). I have been eating them for the better part of three weeks almost daily for breakfast. The few days that I do not eat them, I am enjoying flax seed waffles and vegan breakfast sausage. Anyway, my current oatmeal recipe goes something like this…
1 1/2 c. almond milk (or almond milk-water combo)
3/4 c. oats
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp natural chunky PB or AB
1/2 tsp almond extract (heavenly!)
1 banana, chopped
I boil the liquid and then add the oats. Cook for about 5 minutes or whenever you think they are ready. Remove the pan from the burner and then add the extract, brown sugar, and PB. I pour the oats into a bowl and toss the banana on top. Fabulous!
This is so good and it keeps me full for hours. I subscribe to frontloading my calories at the beginning of the day and tapering as the day progresses. It just makes sense, because you need the majority of your calories and nutrients to get you through the day and not just before your body rests and recharges, right? Anyway, I think the almond extract really makes these way better than regular oats. I think that vanilla extract would be similar but the almond extract is like a little extravegence. I hope to post a picture tomorrow, but as a spoiler, let me tell you that they look like normal oats ;).
So anyway, in sum, I hope to be posting regularly again, as the writing bug has taken hold. Don’t hold your breath for pictures though ;).