I’d celebrate the weekend getting closer, but it’s going to be another busy one for me. It’s the final weekend of helping my sister move since everything has been done on the new house and it’s time to move all the big stuff including some furniture from our house we’re giving them. Also another race packet pickup and 5K race as well as the usual stuff. All fun tasks, I enjoy helping family out, but I’m looking forward to a little down time too. :-) With all the additional training and stuff going on, I’ve been feeling a little stressed with a lot running in the background that has not been easy to shut down so to speak. I think I’m going to look into meditation classes and drag my stressed-out sisters with me to hopefully pick up pointers for home meditation. Have you ever taken meditation classes?
Interesting CalorieLab tidbit on eating more produce for a healthy tan.
“It seems that a diet rich in carotenoids, present in a wide array of fruits and veggies, gives the skin of the five-a-day practitioner a deeper tone and healthier glow, which volunteer observers, viewing before and after photos, find noticeably more attractive. “
Interesting because I’ve noticed this in the last 6 months or so. My skin has always been on the fair side, never gaining a sun-kissed golden tan from sun exposure, but rather a sunburn and back to white with more freckles. Now it has a considerably noticeable golden tint that I assumed was due to the large amount of carrots I eat daily. I really notice it when spending time with my sisters, we’ve always had similar skin tones but mine is darker now compared to theirs and has more of a golden tint in areas that never, ahem, see sunlight. I wonder if this means skin is able to repair better from sun damage and past sun damage with a higher intake of carotenoids. I found the Wikipedia article on carotenoids interesting as well, especially:
“People consuming diets rich in carotenoids from natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are healthier and have lower mortality from a number of chronic illnesses. However, a recent meta-analysis of 68 reliable antioxidant supplementation experiments involving a total of 232,606 individuals concluded that consuming additional β-carotene from supplements is unlikely to be beneficial and may actually be harmful, although this conclusion may be due to the inclusion of studies involving smokers”
More convincing data to me that most supplements are a sham.
Anyway, my sweet mother was babysitting my active nieces again today and I decided to help her out during my lunch break. While enduring the chaos of serving the kids lunches, I managed to assemble a decent lunch for myself.
Leftover hemp seed nacho salad topped with leftover almond/sunflower seed pate and sprouts. It was an interesting flavor combo that I was a bit too distracted while being bombarded with demands and questions from kids to really test. After I cleaned the bowl, I escaped to the kitchen for peace and created a healthy dessert for the kids.
I went to a raw foods for kids class at Whole Foods awhile back where the instructor created a similar snack using young coconut meat. That shocked me considering it was a beginner’s raw class and targeted towards parents with limited time, most won’t have young coconuts on hand and/or be able to get into them quickly if they did. Heck, getting the meat from young coconuts is still a daunting task for me. And they’re not exactly cheap. Frozen banana slices are and much cheaper and easier to keep on hand in the freezer. My version of the dip is:
- 1 cup fresh strawberries
- about 1 cup frozen banana slices
- 1 tbsp. carob powder
- 3 pitted dates
Blend all ingredients in a blender to a smooth puree, pour into custard cups and enjoy. Makes 2-3 servings.
The 2-year-old absolutely loved it and ate all the jicama sticks after thoroughly coating them in the dip. The 5-year-old was another story, she’s become quite a picky eater and refused to touch the jicama sticks, just like any other fresh veggie, but loved the dip. When we finally convinced her to try the jicama, she threw a drama fest and packed her mouth with chewed up jicama, refusing to swallow it and nearly choking herself spitting it back up all over the table when she coughed. Aw, apparently the terrible 5s are much worse than the terrible 2s. :-P Still the dip was a huge hit, maybe I should have pureed the jicama into it and served it as pudding. But I think kids should know they’re eating veggies and learn to enjoy them instead of having to mask every healthy food as a treat. After the cleanup, I went back to work a little late with a little indigestion myself. :-P
Since I’m running tonight, I decided to go a little more carby for dinner and tried this curried quinoa recipe, only I vegan-ized it using water instead of chicken broth. I did a simple sauerkraut kale salad thinking the pro-biotic sauerkraut would be helpful to make sure dinner didn’t revisit me while running. :-)
The quinoa was great, the curry flavor was not too strong and the texture was perfect. I wouldn’t have minded more curry, but hubby is not a fun of strong curry and it worked out great for both of us. But I have ideas to improve it the next time around. :-)