Tag Archives: tea

Early Bird Special

Are you an “all or nothing” type of person? My body seems to be.  My internal clock is so out of whack right now!  For the past week, I’ve alternated between going to bed early and getting more than a full night’s sleep (10+ hours) and getting less than 6 and feeling completely wiped.  This morning was the latter.  Last night, even though I was exhausted,  I could not get myself to drift off.  I knew I had to get up early to get ready for an interview, and the pressure of knowing I needed to sleep only made it worse.  I dragged myself out of bed, bleary and blurry eyed (I’m blind as a bat), not even stopping to put on my glasses.  I had one mission, and one mission only.

Our house guest left this as a parting gift when he left.  I’m sure it’s delicious, but I really didn’t pause to smell or taste it before throwing it back.  I’ll let you know about that tomorrow 🙂

I replenished my supply of POMx to dissolve my Ester-C into.  I’m still so proud of myself for discovering this works!  (For new readers: I drink a little bit every day with breakfast to dissolve Ester-C, which aids the absorption of an iron supplement I take for low energy, but don’t photograph it every morning.)

I was excited to try out a new product with breakfast: Stonewall Kitchen’s Lemon Curd.  I’ve been curious about this for years, and my mom was nice enough to buy it for me this weekend.

Breakfast was a double portion of Sarah‘s pumpkin “cakes”, topped with a heaping cloud of 0% Fage, cinnamon, walnuts, and a scoop of lemon curdLemon Meringue Pumpkin Pie before 7 AM? Yes, please!

I had two back-to-back interviews starting at 9 (which I think went well); afterward I needed to unwind a little with some teasing retail therapy (AKA touch everything, buy nothing) at J.Crew and Anthropologie.  How is it that a store (or two) can be filled with only perfect things?  But my bank balance remained stable, and I left satisfied with the clothes on my back.

The tree is going up in Rockefeller Center…

I sat in the plaza and ate my Criterion apple.  Sometimes it’s okay to be a tourist in your own city.

After making sure there were no more stores I needed to browse through, I came home to get some done and eat lunch.  I heated up a bowl of Spinach & Rice soup and added lots of fresh parsley, and served it alongside a small sweet potato with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Perfect mid-Monday comfort food, if you ask me.

I thought I deserved a treat, so I had some 55% Dark Chocolate Peppermint Chococolove.

The rest of the afternoon was spent writing. Welcome to my “office”!  You may recognize it as the kitchen table, but during the day I spread out and use it for reading, writing, researching, and tea-drinking.  I tried the Sugar Plum Spice holiday teaso good.  I think this might have been the first flavor they came up with, because I remember having it a long, long time ago before they changed their packaging.

After successfully moving to decaffeinated tea, I didn’t want to go back to drinking coffee so late in the day.  Instead, I moved on to a cup of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride.  I don’t know how they do it, but this smells so much like a cookie! It’s very vanilla-y, but it has a very soft taste without a hint of bitterness.

I finished up my work, then went into the city to meet my friend Ilena at 5:30 for an early dinner at FreeFoods NYC.

Tonight was another example of how many secrets this city has to offer, both food-wise and other.  I never would have suspected that a restaurant like this could exist (and thrive!) in Midtown Manhattan, in the heart of corporate offices and tourist attractions.  Was I wrong!  It goes to show that people do want to eat locally and sustainably, the options just have to be made available.

FreeFoods serves fresh soups, sandwiches and salads; they have raw, vegan and gluten-free options.

I built my own salad with arugula, avocado, spiced mango, shittake mushrooms, spicy shrimp and Manchego cheese with Thai basil dressing.

One of the staff members had made an extra Vitality Berry smoothie (sweet cherry, açai, blueberry- pomegranate juice, ginger-agave), so Ilena and I split it with our dinners.  It was really good, and helped ease the heat in my mouth leftover from my spicy salad dressing!

Ilena and I sat for a while catching up…

…and were treated to another smoothie sample! This time we tried the “orange creamsicle” (it’s new, and the ingredients aren’t listed).  As Ilena said, it really did taste like a creamsicle, “but not in the bad way”!

Since we dined early, I was back home by 7:30 to get some things done before Gossip Girl.  Sadly, it seems like most TV shows have already had their holiday finales, so I did some more work instead.  I did, however, make a fabulous dessert to fill my Chuck Bass-sized void…

My dad found a great deal on takeout containers of Tasti D-Lite, so he picked me up some peanut butter frozen yogurt.  I added frozen berries and Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter.

Another sweet end to a good day.

What was the best part of your Monday? What are you looking forward to about Tuesday?

P.S.  Please vote for Lyle!  She is a talented, beautiful actress who deserves to realize her dreams.  Register, vote, and help here get there!

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Dos and Don’ts

Hey there, strangers! How was your weekend? Mine was lovely… I spent the last few days relaxing in upstate New York with my parents.  Time seems to move slower there; I never felt like I was rushing to catch my breath or finish five things at once.  It was a nice change.  What did you do?

Here’s a quick re-cap of the weekend chez with Mom & Pop LVP, Do/Don’t style!

DO make Eggs In A Basket out of an open-face grilled cheese sandwich.  Thanks for the idea, Kaytee!

DO enjoy pumpkin whole wheat pancakes on a frosty fall morning.  The secret to their fluffiness? A little bit of vinegar.

DO support your local farmers and buy apples at the orchard…

…and while there, DO pick up an apple cider donut for your mama.

It will make her happy.

DO top your salads with Red Ants On A Log (celery with Sunbutter and dried cherries).

DON’T feel silly when you squeal with delight after finding holiday teas at your local food co-op, after searching every chain grocery store with no luck.

DON’T gloat about winning some fancy protein powder from your neighborhood Everythingtarian.

DO share Holly‘s pumpkin molasses cookies with those who gave you life… albeit grudgingly.

DO cozy up to a mug of Spiced POM Cider

DO have a nice dinner at Church and Main, a sustainable restaurant that supports local farmers and uses only the freshest ingredients (and DO go home and watch Food, Inc. afterward).

DO drink local Riesling

…eat wedges of bread

DO share two appetizers with Daddy-O to maximize tastings, like these bay scallops with parsley pesto over cappelllini...

… and this spinach and arugula salad with candied almonds, parmesan and goat cheese.

DO have the pan-roasted Atlantic monk fish with creamy white beans, celery root, warm baby winter greens & roasted beets for yourslef.

DO share three desserts (warm chocolate cake with caramel sauce, gingerbread crème brulée, semolina cake with roasted apples).

And, in case you were wondering, this is a salsify root:

…this is a celery root:

… and this is a turnipDON’T worry, these aren’t sea creatures!

Do warm up for your first 6 mile run since your injury with Yoga For Runners.

DO give your knees a break and run on a track.

DO utilize the Lap function on your heart rate monitor; DON’T feel bad for taking a year to notice it.

Total distance: 6 miles
Total time: 59:54

Mile 1: 9:49
Mile 2: 9:57
Mile 3: 10:07
Mile 4: 10:14
Mile 5: 10:03
Mile 6: 9:41

Average Pace: 9:58

DO refuel with a bowl of apple cinnamon raisin oatmeal.  Microwave a diced apple, sprinkled with cinnamon, for 90 seconds. Insta-baked apple.

DO enjoy an end-of weekend bowl of Marcella Hazan’s Spinach and Rice Soup.

DO buy packaged falafel based on the brand name alone.

And most importantly, DO take advantage of your boyfriend’s absence to load up on things like Garlic Lovers Hummus and raw onion.

For an added bonus for body and soul, DO a free Lunar Flow practice before bed, with your eyes closed and the lights off.  You’ll thank yourself.

What are your most recent DOs and DON’Ts?

A “Quick Meal”- Themed Day

Good evening, Upper East Siders!  How are you? I’m taking a little work break to blog and catch up on my Gossip.

Last night, after we got back from the wedding, I hunkered down to do some reading and prepare for my interviews.  All of that brain stimulation must have shot my metabolism into overdrive, because only a couples hours after dinner,  my tum was a-grumblin’ something fierce! I thought I might just be thirsty, but that didn’t seem to be it.  Finally, I put down my book and headed into the kitchen to make a bowl of Kashi GoLean and Smart Start. Problem solved!

This morning, I woke up bright and early to see Ari off.  As I mentioned, he’s going Vigilante through December, and had to leave at 7:30 this morning.  I tried to go back to sleep, but my mind was already up and ready to go.  I had to be at physical therapy at 10 anyway, so I just got up and made breakfast.

Taking Jess‘s advice, I heated up half of a Trader Joe’s Berry Mango Bran Muffin, crumbled it up, and tossed in on top of 0% Fage with some warmed frozen berries and a scoop of flaxy PB.  I really like this peanut butter, by the way.   It’s both crackly and crunchy and adds great texture!

Quite the mess!

My therapy session went well… I still have a lot of tightness in pretty much each muscle in my legs, so I have to keep working on that.  Repeat after me: yoga, rolling and stretching, okay!  When I got back, I briefly chatted with the guest who is staying with us, made myself an apple-cinnamon snack, and retreated to my room to be interviewed (via phone) with the HR department for the company I’m interviewing with.

It shaped up to be one of those days where I was constantly hungry, so I made something as soon as the clock showed that it was even remotely close to lunchtime.  Ellie reminded me yesterday about the beauty of the crack wrap, so I made one with a whole wheat wrap, three-layer hummus, and a slice of Jarlsberg cheese.

I ate it with half a can of Progresso’s Fat Free Lentil soup.   This isn’t the tastiest of the canned variety, but I had a hankering for soup.  I’ll definitely be making my own in the near future!

Finished up the meal with a piece of salt water taffy for a sweet end.

I’ve been searching in vain for the seasonal Celestial Seasonings teas (like Sugar Cookie and Gingerbread)… any New Yorkers know where I can track it down?  I settled on a cup of Sweet Coconut Thai Chai, which was a good substitute…

…but it knocked me right out!  Ari caught me snoozing at 5PM when he woke me up with a phone call.  Whoops! I snacked on some carrots to perk me back up…

… then did Yoga Download‘s Hip Opening Flow #2.  I have trouble practicing yoga for more than 20 minutes when I’m not in class… does anyone have tips for staying in the moment? Turning off my phone would probably be a good start!

I heated up some leftover Coconut Barley Pilaf and made a quick salad with kale, broccoli slaw, grape tomatoes, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.

Honestly, as much as I love my fancy salad dressings, I could probably make a sesame vinaigrette every night and be happy.  It’s simple, but so delicious.  I don’t even use measurements or mix anything together… the vinegar and oil just get drizzled on.

I made another quick dessert, starting with a tri-flavored chocolate sauce using Pure Dark cardamom chocolate, semisweet and bittersweet chocolate chips.

I added a few drops of water, microwaved the bowl for 35 seconds, then mixed in some Brown Sugar ice cream.

And thus concludes another day’s passing without having spent a single extra dollar on food.  I’m going to have to buy some fresh produce soon, as we’re running low on fruit and vegetables, but otherwise the kitchen is pretty stocked.  It’s a satisfying feeling.

Back to work… it’s going to be a late night.  Bonne nuit 🙂

POMx Iced Tea

A few months ago, the kind folks over at POM Wonderful sent me samples of their new line of POMx Antioxidant Super Tea.  Here’s what they say about the product: “POMx Tea is a refreshing hand-picked, whole leaf tea, made with POMx.  Extracted from California-grown Wonderful-variety pomegranates, POMx has more antioxidant potency than red wine, green tea, grape and açai extracts.  In fact, 15 published scientific studies on POMx have documented its antioxidant superiority as well as its promising health benefits. Remember: Only one tea contains POMx.”

POMx Iced Tea

Here’s breakdown of the teas, in order of my preference.

POMx Light Pomegranate Hibiscus Green Tea

POMx Pomegranate Hibiscus Green Tea

POMx Light Hibiscus Pomegranate Tea, Nutrition

We drank this in the car on the way to Woodstock.

Ari’s review: Spiffily designed package.  I wouldn’t purchase this product, only because I’m usually a water drinker. I might pick it up if I saw it in a deli, or if I had one of Katie’s coupons.  It tasted like a Pomegranate gatorade/iced tea mixture, with maybe a hint of oak.

My review: I wouldn’t have thought this was “light” tea if I hadn’t read the package.  It’s sweet but not overpoweringly so, and very thirst-quenching.  The flavor was very interesting and slightly tropical.  I felt festive drinking it!

POMx Pomegranate Lychee Green Tea

POMx Lychee

POMx Lychee Nutrition

My review: Lychees are one of my favorite fruits, and I can clearly identify it in this drink.  It’s almost a little tangy, and sweet but not syrupy.   I drank this when I was sick with a stomach bug; I usually drink ginger ale when I’m under the weather, but I didn’t want to pump my body with chemicals.

POMx Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea

POMx Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea

POMx Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea Nutrition

My review: This tastes a bit like guava.  It’s tropical and sweet, much better than some other popular bottled peach drinks I’ve encountered.  It has a deep “perfume-y” flavor, and smells delicious.

POMx Light Pomegranate Wildberry White Tea

POMx Wildberry Iced Tea

POMx Wildberry Nutrition

My review: This has a subtle berry flavor, plus something not quite identifiable.  I drank this after a long run and felt good about using it to refuel; it’s chock full of antioxidants and doesn’t have too many calories per serving.  It was a little too sweet for me; I’m not a big fan of sugary drinks, natural or not.  It had a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Bottom line: Would I buy these? Maybe.  I don’t love drinking my calories, but I enjoyed these teas in small doses.  I imagine they’re on the pricey side so I’d probably save them for a special occasion.

POMx Iced Teas are slated to hit stores soon, so keep on the lookout! Thanks, POM, for giving me the opportunity to try these out!

Short Fuse

For some reason, this post didn’t go up this morning when I pressed “Publish”! Sorry about that, folks 🙂

Just now, as I made my breakfast, I’d almost convinced myself I was in a Parisian flat getting ready for the day with the rest of the rest of the workforce. It’s a crisp day out, but the windows are open, letting the fresh air (and an upstairs neighbor’s cigarette smoke) waft in. It’s about 2 there right now… my parents are probably having a simple lunch somewhere, and Ari is getting ready for his show tonight in Manchester. I haven’t really heard from my parents (except a frantic back-and-forth with my dad about physical therapy), but it seems like the Upwelling‘s tour is off to a great start!

Yesterday morning I played a fierce game of “snooze” with the alarm clock. You might be wondering why I even bother setting alarm given that I don’t have a job, but I find that I really need to keep myself on a remotely “normal” schedule so that things get done and I don’t lose my mind.

Breakfast was a little different yesterday.

Apple Nut Oats

I cooked 1/3 cup of 5-Grain Cereal in 2/3 cup of water, then microwaved a diced apple with cinnamon and a little brown sugar. (Blew the fuse with this one… the dishwasher and dryer was already running in the kitchen, and the vacuum was in use in another room. Whoops! But a girl’s gotta have her breakfast 🙂 ) I topped everything with 1/4 banana and a big scoop of peanut butter.

Apple Nut Oats 2

I haven’t had any hot cereal other than oats since I graduated, but I’m going to keep this up. It’s a nice change!

My knee was feeling a little better when I woke up, so I decided to go to the gym and see how using the bike felt. Well… not so great. It hurt to go faster than a snail, but the slow pace was really frustrating. I ended up getting off after 20 minutes, hobbling over to the machines to try arms, getting even more frustrated, and leaving. The combination of an over- crowded locker room and no hot water in the showers led to a minor meltdown… there were a few tears as I stood under the shower head, freezing and wondering if this was the end of my running career. Then I moved on with my life.

My friend Hannah and I met at Whole Foods for lunch, and I loaded my box with some of my favorite comfort foods.

Whole Foods

Including but not restricted to:

  • Mixed greens
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Artichokes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Baked Tofu
  • 1 Plantain
  • Vegan Chicken Salad
  • “Detox Salad” made w/ ground cauliflower
  • Whole Grain Taboule
  • Kale & Cantaloupe salad

I also sneaked in some coconut water 😉

Goya Coconut Water

After lunch I went home and made some calls to physical therapists, trying to get an appointment.  No luck!  So, I decided to relax a little and settled into bed with a book, a cup of chai, and an apple with cinnamon.  Very cozy!

Tea Time

This quote would be more appropriate if it ended with “honor your body“, but I can do both.

Tea Quote

For some reason I was hungry for dinner a lot earlier than usual, so I ended up getting dinner ready around 6:30.  I diced up an heirloom tomato

Heirloom Tomato

… and mixed it in with the leftover Lemony  Rigatoni w/ Chickpeas & Broccoli, which I topped with parmesan.

Lemony Chickpea & Broccoli Rigatoni

I had a few leaves of romaine on the side, as well as a big rebel carrot.

Rebel Carrot

Ilana came over a little later, and after I made her a quick dinner, we had an ice cream party!  Good sleepovers are not complete without them.

Ice Cream Party

I had a bowl with half Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup and half Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean. with a hearty drizzle of hot fudge.

Ice Cram Party 2

Speaking of ice cream, remember the almond-less Vanilla Swiss Almond? Well, I finally got around to calling Haagen-Dazs, and they were very nice about the mix-up and should have a coupon in the mail.  All’s well that ends well!

I’ll be back a little later with the physical therapist’s diagnosis.  Hope you’re having a great day!

Life Is For Living

Is Life Worth Living?

Source

Good morning! How are you today? It’s a blustery day so far here in the city, and I’m happy to say that the air conditioner is no longer running on its automatic circuit.  It seems like most of us have mixed feelings about birthdays, but… I think I’ve decided to be less of a grinch and just enjoy seeing my friends and family, as usual.  Why not celebrate when you can?

Yesterday was another Fall-inspired breakfast: oats cooked with water and almond milk, topped with a small apple, pumpkin pie mix, and a scoop of peanut butter.

Apple Pumpkin PB Oatmeal

At work, fearing a grumbly tummy (I work in the same room as my boss) I took a water break and ate a Trek Mix bar in the reception area.

Trek Mix Bar

My mom and I were able to meet for lunch today, and dined at Baoguette, a chain of Vietnamese sandwich and noodle shops.

Baogette Menu

I ordered the Bu’n Fish, which was baked in spices and plopped on top a HUGE portion of noodles and pickled vegetables.  I ate so much, but still had at least a pound of leftovers to take home!

Baoguette Bu'n Fish

I went home, made some tea (which I promptly spilled all over myself and the floor), snacked on some chunks, and fell asleep.

Fashionable snacks

I woke up just in time to shower before having to leave to meet my parents.  We were going to a play with at 7:00 curtain and weren’t going to eat dinner until it was over, so I made myself a Greek yogurt/ warmed Mangolicious blend/applesauce snack.

Greek yogurt/berries/applesauce

The play, called Is Life Worth Living?, was a revival of an Irish play from the 1930s.  We all really enjoyed it! The perfect way to kick of birthday season.  Ahem.

Is Life Worth Living?

After the play, we went to John’s Pizzeria for a late dinner.  This was a hotspot when I was in elementary and middle school… almost everyone had birthday parties here.  I don’t think I’d been for 10 years!

We ordered a spinach salad with apples, blue cheese, walnuts, onions and olives to share:

Spinach salad

We also split a large Margherita pizza with basil and onion.

John's Pizza

I had two slices.

John's Pizza slice

I haven’t ordered pizza in so long, and it felt so good. It was a really, really nice evening.  When I got home, I finished off the last of the coconut milk ice cream and topped it with frozen cherries and homemade almond milk. I love eating straight from the carton… it feels so naughty!

Dessert

I also dug into some snail mail from a certain buddy who must know I’m obsessed with pugs…

Pugs!

… a special note from Miss Gliding Calm!

happy card

This girl sure knows how to brighten a day 🙂

Well, I’m off to go get my license renewed.  Don’t you just love the DMV?  A certain someone might be coming home today, too… I’ll give you one good guess.

Have a great day!

Smooth Moves

Good morning and happy Wednesday! I can’t believe the week has flown by so fast… and I’m that much closer to being 22.  I think I’ve turned a little anti-birthday, but maybe not.  How do you feel about your birthday?

The night before last, I’d planned a really unique breakfast as I was lying in bed, trying to fall asleep.  When I woke up, though, I was doubting my creative abilities and sent a frantic Tweet asking for some breakfast suggestions.  A few minutes later, though, I went with my gut, and am I glad I did! I present you with: The Fall Smoothie.

Fall Smoothie

This is made with:

  • homemade raw almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1/3- 1/2 cup puréed butternut squash
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • granola for garnish

Uh-MA-zing! If you make this and don’t have almond milk you’ve made yourself, I suggest throwing in a few whole almonds for thickness and added flavor.

As usual, I puttered around for a few hours before I was ready to go for a run.  To hold myself over, I snacked on the last piece of butternut squash banana bread with a smear of peanut butter:

Banana Squash Bread w/ PB

The run itself was uneventful, but I did have some lovely new music to keep me going.

new playlist

Total distance: 4.5 miles

Total time: 43:46

Maximum heart rate: 186 (93%)

Average heart rate: 172 (86%)

Calories burned: 494

Lunch was exactly the same as dinner (hence the re-used photo). Blegh. Soup is finally all eaten up, though!

Toasted Cheese & Lentil Soup

I made a pineapple spritzer using the juice that was left in the can and a little seltzer.

Pineapple spritzer

Both the run and lunch were starting to put me to sleep, so I brewed up some “Magic Feeling” tea that I got in Berlin (only in Germany, eh?).

Magic Feeling Tea #1

Magic Feeling Tea #2

I felt a little too magical, because I conked out for the next two hours.  Whoops!  When I woke up, I was ready to get cookin’.  I snacked on three chunks of energy to get me moving again…

Chunks of Energy

I’ve had the ingredients to make Veganomicon‘s Corn and Edamame-Sesame Salad for a while now, and at the very last minute I decided to add some diced grape tomatoes to the mix as well.

Veganomicon Corn & Edamame Salad

I also whipped up SELF‘s White Bean Consommé with Almond Milk, and halved the recipe so I wouldn’t have another soup sitch like last week!

SELF soup

White bean Almond Milk Soup

It was lacking a little something, so I “remixed” it with alfalfa sprouts, chili flakes and Bragg‘s.  Much better!

White Bean Soup Re-mixed

For dessert, I tried out my last new flavor of Vitamuffin, Deep Chocolate.

Deep Chocolate Vita

Deep Chocolate Vita Nutrition

Deep Chocolate VitaTop

I crumbled it on top of a container of Trader Joe’s nonfat Organic Vanilla Greek Yogurt, and topped the whole thing with homemade almond milk. I don’t know if I’ve expressed how much I enjoy this yogurt before, but it’s amazing!  You can actually see the specs of vanilla bean.

Vita/Yogurt/almond milk

Well I’ve literally got to run out the door so I’m not late for my internship.  Have a great Wednesday!