Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ever-Changing Aromas

I was finally able to go on a run outside this morning (it was a "chilly" 82*). There is one house in particular that I notice every morning on my run, because it always emanates some funky odors. Most of the time it smells like rotting fruits and vegetables--sometimes it's cabbage, sometimes it's citrus-y. Regardless, I figured that they have a compost heap that they use in gardening. Lately, however, this house has been expelling more eccentric fragrances. Last week, I swear I smelled sausage hiding somewhere in the lawn, and this morning, the odor of the day seemed to be pizza crust. Either I am going crazy, or these people are feeding their plants their leftovers.

Anyway, I write to you earlier in the day today, not because I was so eager to rant about stinky landscaping, but because I have two tests tomorrow: a nutrition exam and my anatomy lab final. I'll likely be frantically studying this evening, so I figured I would post now. Plus, it gives me an excuse to procrastinate:)

After my last post, I got to work on preparing a recipe from my new Cafe Sunflower Cookbook, the Southern Black Bean Cakes. I served them along with salsa, a side salad, and some spinach. Honestly, the recipe instructions were less than stellar; yes, it was concise, but I had to do a lot of guess-work. They didn't even taste that good. Bummer.
For my shake, I (finally) used a different variety of hemp protein: the berry pomegranate flavor. I've decided that I will love anything with frozen cherries in it, so I fully enjoyed this concoction.
Another bran muffin breakfast! I had two of those with fresh strawberries and my beloved almond butter. I want to try hazelnut butter but don't know where to look. Whole Foods? Online? Veggie Girl probably has a few suggestions:)
After class, I wanted something quick so I could get started on studying. With no leftovers to speak of, I turned to the freezer and found a box of Amy's Bistro Burgers. I heated one up in the m-wave and put it on whole wheat with mashed avocado. A side salad with mushrooms and scallions and a bowl of grapes added some cancer-fighting produce to the meal.
Last night for dinner, I made another recipe from the Sunflower Cookbook, the Pacific Quinoa Salad. I didn't have all of the ingredients so I substituted here and there, and I added edamame for some protein. The dressing was great--think pineapple juice+ginger. I also had a salad with raw cashews. In the ancient Northwestern mug is some almond milk with dark cocoa powder and stevia (I know Jenn will appreciate the wildcat pride). Also note my new chopsticks. Ever since my friends taught me how to use them, I love eating with them! I bought them at Crate & Barrel last weekend in an effort to slow down my eating.
My shake/smoothie last night was the return of a favorite: vanilla hemp and mango! This is the combo that tasted like cake batter to me the last time I tried it, so I wanted to recreate it. Pumpkin flax granola makes it quite delectable.
Another breakfast parfait (or maybe more like a breakfast trifle...). This one had two crumbled bran muffins, plain organic yogurt, and fresh blueberries. Tasty, as always.
Well, I guess my procrastination session has reached a close. I will leave you with a picture of Fred chillin' in my mom's duffel bag.


Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Sounds like you have some interesting neighbors.

I want your black bean cakes!

Your quinoa salad looks fantastic too. And I love that you eat with chop sticks!

I need to slow down when I eat too. Brett told me the other day that if I eat faster than him, I'm eating pretty quickly. Perhaps I should bust out my chopsticks and take my time!

That picture of Fred is too funny!

Tina said...

What a yummy day of foods! So many of my favorites! :)

VeggieGirl said...

Sorry about the bean cakes :0( But hey, at least you have your never-fail shakes/smoothies to make up for it!! :0)

Fred is precious!!

Here's where I purchase my hazelnut-butter (and ALL of my nut-butters, period):

Jenn said...

Haha, heck yes I appreciate the Wildcat pride! Thanks for the shout-out, Caroline :o)

I really want to learn how to use chopsticks, too! I have a tendency to inhale my food, so the chance to slow down would be a gift!

Hurray for the tiny Crate & Barrel spoons - I love mine.

Oh yeah, and to answer your question about those white chocolate chips - they're President's Choice, which apparently is Canadian - but they were in my grocery store, haha:

ashley said...

Will you come to my house and cook for me? Everything you talked about looked healthy and delicious and is presented so beautifully!

I love that last picture!

Erin said...

Mmmm, if I have any bran muffins left in the freezer I'm totally recreating your breakfast parfait tomorrow morning!

just me said...

i love that you chopped up the bran muffins in your parfait! what a novel idea?! and your food looks sooo great!

i love the dog pic too!

Anonymous said...

I know you mention sometimes that you run. I was just curious how long you run for each day, and how many days you run?

Oh and do you run when you're on vacation (like when you went to Atlanta) or do you take the day off? Just wondering.


Anonymous said...

Why are you trying to slow down your eating? Aren't you trying to recoverfrom an eating disorder and get your period back? That doesn't sound like healthy behavior...

And you seem to use a lot of light/diet products too, like silk light, low-cal bread, very little oil. How are you able to take in enough calories for your active lifestyle without losing weight to a dangerous level again? Maybe if you added more oils/calories, your periods would come back. Just a suggestion. I don't want to sound mean. Although this might come across sounding that way it wasn't my intent.

Kimberly said...

That photo of Fred is ADORABLE. He's all, "Hey, wazzup." And your breakfast parfaits are so lovely that I've actually started making my own! In lieu of homemade bran muffins, I use a couple of those hardcore Scandinavian bran crispbreads, and either frozen blueberries or fresh melon.

I'm intrigued by the mystery of the overpowering compost... and feeling sort of bad for any poor plants being force-fed days-old sausage. Ewwwww.

P.S. Dear Anonymous II: Are you a medical professional? Have you spoken to Caroline in person and gained a clear, complete picture of her personal situation? Oh, no on both counts? Then perhaps, regardless of how decent your intentions may be, you should leave the medical advice to those who are qualified.

Anonymous said...

Hi Caroline I just recently bought the hemp protein too after veggiegirl suggested it and was wondering if you tasted an after taste because mine tasted a little funny but i think it might be because I added Stevia to it.
Blessings on your tests, I know the the cramming all to well, as I have told you before I am working on my mAsters in nutrition. Love the blog and all the great food ideas.


CeciLiA said...

First of all ... AWWW, Fred is so adorable *pats* ... :0)

Ooo you cooked from your cookbook already, amazing!! Bummer that that black bean cakes doesn't turn out quite as good - the ones in V'con are GREAT though (I heard) ...

Oh my, you shakes ... just one question though, how do you make your shakes so thick?! Is it because of the frozen fruits or is it the hemp protein powder :0/

Oh my, I'm totally jealous that you have strawberries there, they are my favorite food!! Oh, sorry to ask so many questions but is the strawberries organic? I heard the non organic ones have a high pesticide reading...

Oh man, your parfait looks so FREAKING delicious, care to make me one?!!

Ruby Red Vegan said...

Those bran muffins catch my attention every time you post about them -- they just look so good!!!

Woah, sooo weird about the stinky house. You should bring some perfume on your next run to spray outside their house, haha. Okay, I'm kidding.

Ugh, two tests?! Good luck, good luck! (One for each test.)

You really have me craving some veggie burgers with avocado now. Thanks. :)

ChickPea said...

Jennifer: The quinoa salad was much better than the black bean cakes! I recommend the chopsticks, if for no other reason than the fun factor:)
Tina: Glad you liked today's selections!
VeggieGirl: Thanks for the URL--I will be making a celebratory order tomorrow after my tests.
Jenn: I LOVE C&B now--I am so jealous that you have them near you in Chicago. Those spoons make eating so much more fun--if that's possible for me.
Thanks for URL:)
Ashley: Hmm maybe if this nutrition thing doesn't work out, being a personal chef doesn't sound half-bad...
Erin: Yay! Let me know if you try it!
Just Me: Yep, I've been making the muffin parfaits since high school , and I never seem to tire of them.
Christie: I try to be flexible on vacation in regard to exercise. This past weekend, I didn't run while I was in Atlanta. On vacation I usually opt to use the gym if I do exercise, because I don't want to get lost in a strange city while on a run.
Anonymous: You may not have intended to sound mean...but you did. Are you saying that anyone who tries to eat slowly is trying to lose weight? Because that is surely not the case with me. I want to slow down my eating so that I can enjoy my food more--I go to so much trouble to make it, but I feel like I rush through my meals.
I've explained why I use the bread I do--on some things I have to compromise with family members, who are trying to watch their weights. As for the Silk Light, I choose it for its lower saturated fat content, a nutrient that everyone should try to limit. I don't cook with oil because I prefer to get my fats from foods, such as nuts, seeds, and fatty vegetables (olives, avocados). Pardon me for having taste preferences.
Finally, do you honestly think I have gone this long without a period and NOT tried increasing kcalories and fat?! I have tried several macronutrient ratios in the past several years, and none seemed to do the trick. I have opted to take in a moderate amount of fat (at least 3 servings per day) along with an adequate energy intake. Remember, I don't photograph everything I eat, so you may be getting an incomplete picture of my daily diet.
Kimberly: I'm so happy that you've jumped on the parfait bandwagon--some people obsess over oatmeal, I obsess over parfaits:) Thanks for defending me!
Christie: The protein does have a bit of an aftertaste, but I have grown to like it. It's what I call a "hempy kick."
Cecilia: I think it's a combination of the frozen fruit and the powder. The primary reason I use protein powder at all is the texture that it lends to the shake. Also, sometimes I add a few ice cubes if I am not satisfied with the thickness.
Ruby: Hmm maybe I should leave a bottle of perfume in their mailbox? Maybe then they'd get the hint:)
I actually got the idea to add the avocado to the burger from the Amy's box--I can't take all the credit!

CeciLiA said...

Oh thanks for the tip - I mentioned to my dad that I'm looking for vegan protein shakes, and he said to be ... you trying to bulk up?!!!!! Hahaha, funny man! ;0)

Btw, sorry about the MEAN anonymous (hence coward) comment that you received from 'anonymous'!! These 'food-obssesed' people piss me off - they're like food polices that roam around the blog-o-sphere ... jumping on people for stupid reasons!! ;0(

sportsnutritionliving said...


I am def going to try to hemp shake again minus the stevia. Just to comment on the anonymous comment on the blog. I too have had similar issues with not getting my period and I eat enough calories and eat a good amount of healthy fats as well but I just have low estrogen levels so I am in the same boat as you..the science begind how the body works is not always so cut and dry (ex: just add more calories.)
I have decided to start a blog as well so I hope you will be visitng it.

Thanks, Christie

Anonymous said...

Good philosophy on the leniency of exercising while vacationing. That's what I do too. But normally, how many days week do you run, and for how long? I'm always interested in others' exercise routines.

(Ve*ganChick) said...

too bad the burgers didn't work out. looks like the Amy's one did, though! i nominated you for an award...check out my blog to see it!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Caroline,
I have been reading your blog for a while now (I do have a blog too, and I often comment using my blog name, but because of the nature of this comment, I want to keep this post anonymous). I've always loved reading, as you are an eloquent writer and a kind soul. But today when I found out you are not getting a period, I was very worried! Christie, I hope you read this too: not getting a period is very dangerous. It is not simply "I just have low estrogen levels" as you put it. It is your body's way of telling you that something isn't right. Often the "something not right" is that you do not weigh enough to get a period. Caroline, are you underweight/borderline unerweight? You do not have to answer this question here on this blog, but answer it to yourself, and if the answer is yes, please think about trying to gain a few needed pounds and cut back on exercise a bit if what you are doing is strenuous. As a nurse who works with anorexics, I can tell you from experience that you'd be amazed at how many girls are able to get their periods back just by gaining a few more pounds into their body's healthy weight range. Feel free to delete this comment, but please do not take your not getting a period lightly.
-A loving, concerned blogger

Allison said...

First of all, both the spoon and your dog are precious! Each time I see your muffin parfaits my mouth waters...I think it's time to go buy some wheat bran! I know previous commenters have asked about your running schedule, and I was wondering the same questions as well. I'm slowly getting into running, and was wondering what your schedule was like at the beginning?
And, of course, your meals look DELICIOUS once again!!
PS...I sent you an email! :0)

lighterportions said...

Oh man do I ever love your meals. They are always interesting and creative! And eating with chopsticks is so much more fun. I always forget to do that!
Mango always makes a great smoothie. To think it's only been very recently that I discovered my love for mangos... how did I survive before that?!

That's so weird about the funky smelling house haha. That would weird me out just a little...

Andrea said...

1. muffin parfait = adorable!
2. i agree w ashley. please be my personal chef ;)
3. i think u eat very healthy and dont need to listen to the RUDE and UNECESSARY anon comments. but i did have the period issue too because my bmi was under 17 but once i got it in the middle of the healthy range it came back. i'm sure yours will too. it's important if u want babies ;)

Danielle said...

Congratulations my friend, you have just recieved the Brillante Weblog award from yours truly! Check out my blog for my info :)

P.S. Since when did slowing down and enjoying food become a crime? Hm. You just keep eating with pleasure girlie, they must not understand the concept ;)

ChickPea said...

Cecilia: Yep, I used to get the same type of comments from my family! Thanks for your kind words re:the previous poster.
Christie: I can't wait to read your blog!
Anonymous I: I run 4 days per week, 15-20 miles per week. When I first started running I ran 6 days a week, 25-50 miles per week, but that's how I injured myself, so I don't recommend doing so.
VeganChick: Thanks for the honor!
Anonymous II: Thank you for delivering your advice in such a kind manner. I have received treatment for my eating disorder, and I am within a healthy weight range. At this point, I am considering trying the Pill to perhaps "wake up" my system; alternatively, a few extra pounds probably wouldn't hurt either. You're absolutely right--losing one's period is NOT normal, even if you're an athlete. I plan to see a gynecologist about this issue in the near future. Thanks so much for your concern!
Allison: Thanks! I highly recommend the muffin parfait--you can use any old muffin though, not just my recipe! As for running, I would recommend starting out slowly maybe just a few short runs per week. I did NOT do that, and that's how I injured my ankle and couldn't run for a few weeks. However, I now LOVE running and highly encourage people to try it out. My specific schedule is written in my response to another commenter above.
PS Thanks for the email!
LighterPortions: Honestly, I didn't discover mango until very recently either--it's so yummy! I haven't quite mastered eating it fresh yet--a little difficult to peel!
Andrea: Thanks for the period advice--not being able to have kids is what scares me the most...keep your fingers crossed that Aunt Flow will return!
Danielle: Thanks so much for the award! And yes, enjoying food slowly should not be a crime!

John said...

Even as a devoted meat eater I can admit, all of that food look quite tasty. Especially the black bean cakes.

Anonymous said...

Oh God, please please don't go on the pill! It is NOT a fix for getting a period! Too many doctors aren't knowledgeable in this area and think that putting someone on the pill will fix the problem, but it does not give you a real period, it gives a placebo period, so the pill-induced period does absolutely nothing to fix the problem nor to protect your bones. It also gives one a false sense of security while doing nothing to address the underlying reason that caused one to lose her periods in the first place.

I'm sorry to sound so upset, it just angers me so much when doctors think putting someone on the pill will be a quick fix to a dangerous, complicated problem!

Danielle said...

Hi! I love your blog and I'm commenting finally because I'm wondering how much milk and frozen fruit you put in your smoothie and if you add ice? I love smoothies but can't seem to get it down!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for responding so kindly to my comment (the non-rude anonymous comment from a blogger). You are a great young lady, and I know you’ll do great things in the future.

ChickPea said...

John: That's great to hear! Sometimes I worry that my food looks a little gross to meat-eaters...
Anonymous III: I understand that the Pill would not be a permanent fix; I would be taking the medication temporarily to coax my system into normal estrogen production. Anyway, I thank you for the information and your concern.
Danielle: My smoothie making is not an exact science, but I usually end up with 1.5-2 cups of liquid (milk, water, or juice), about 1 cup of frozen fruit, and a few handfuls of ice. Sometimes it doesn't work out quite right so I have to add more liquid--occasionally you just have to play with the proportions to get it right. Also important is that I use 3-4 tablespoons of hemp protein for my concoctions to make them more "shake-like."
Anonymous II: Again, I say that I appreciate your concern. This flurry of comments prompted me to schedule a gynecologist appointment for next month--thank you!