Monthly Archives: July 2013

Celebrating My Hubby’s Birthday

Today that handsome man of mine turns 27!

Adam and Harley

Although I’m sure Adam would be fine with me not making a big deal of his birthday, me being me, I always make a huge fuss. After all, life is short and I happen to enjoy celebrating things as much as I can!

Since Adam’s birthday fell mid-week this year, I picked him up at his work for lunch today to make his day a little special. I packed us sandwiches and fruit, and we ventured to the park for a midday picnic. It was the perfect temperature outside and it felt nice to have a little breather together! We rarely ever see each other during the day during the week, and we agreed that we should try to do it more often.

bday-picnic

Afterwards, I swung by an awesome cupcake place in Campbell called Frost Cupcake Factory that I’d been to once with my friend Tiffany. We had split a few vegan cupcakes there and they were delicious, so I went back today to pick out some birthday cupcakes. They didn’t have any vegan cupcakes this time (apparently Wednesdays are their vegan cupcake days), but they sure did have a fabulous selection of deliciousness to choose from. I wound up picking out a bunch for us to sample:

cupcakes

I’m most excited to try the peanut butter moon pie and salt ‘n sweet – which is a chocolate cupcake filled with salted caramel. Drool.

Upon Googling the cupcakery, I see that they actually won on The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars!

I texted my friend Tiffany and told her that I might have gone overboard and gotten a few too many, and her response was, “There is no such thing as too many when it comes to cupcakes.” HA. It’s no wonder that every time I see her we wind up getting dessert together!

I love making fun plans and getting nice gifts for Adam because I always want him to know how awesome he is and how much I appreciate him. More on the birthday plans I’ve made when we have a date night this weekend  – but seriously guys, I really hit the jackpot with my hubby!

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I’m off to make homemade goat cheese, spinach & tomato ravioli for Adam’s birthday dinner. This recipe is fabulous and I haven’t made it in awhile. I’m also chilling a bottle of chardonnay from when we visited Crane Vineyards in Napa to crack open. There will definitely also be some present opening and the usual shenanigans playing with our maniac puppy. My foodie self can’t decide what I’m looking forward to most – my ravioli, the wine or the cupcakes! 🙂

Fresh & Easy Meal Idea: Mediterranean Wraps

Although I thoroughly enjoy spending time playing around in the kitchen, there are certainly plenty of days when I just want to quickly make a nutritious and yummy meal — get in the kitchen, and get out of there! This kind of instance happened a few days ago. In deciding what to whip up, I first started off with my favorite wraps: La Tortilla Factory’s Smart & Delicious Tortillas. I’ve been buying them for awhile now, but I just noticed a “Made Local” sticker on them for the first time. Sweet! Wraps-1

I had a bunch of fresh veggies and crumbled feta cheese on hand, so I had the idea to make Mediterranean-style wraps. This meal took 15 minutes tops to put together, and will now probably be on my list of go-to easy, healthy dinner ideas in a jiffy. Wraps-2

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Wraps-5I smartly cut the wraps in half after snapping these photos, but you get the idea. 😉

Mediterranean Wraps
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese with Mediterranean herbs
  • 4 handfuls of arugula
  • 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts
  • 2 TBSP horseradish mustard
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • [Mixed up] salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Trim and chop green beans and bell pepper. Place in a steamer basket, and boil in a medium pot containing a small amount of water. Let cook until tender, 5-7 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, chop tomatoes and artichoke hearts into small pieces.
  3. Evenly distribute artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and feta cheese onto the 4 tortillas.
  4. Once green beans pepper are done cooking, add some of those veggies to each wrap.
  5. Top with a handful of arugula and spread ½ TBSP of mustard onto each wrap. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, roll up and enjoy!

 

Question: What are some of your go-to fresh & easy meal ideas?

Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salads and pasta with broccoli are always on my meal idea back burner. Lately I’ve also been using these wraps to make veggie quesadillas.

Redefining Fast Food: San Diego’s Natural Selections

If you ask a lot of people why they often eat fast food, many of them would probably cite the convenience of it all. Yes, it’s fast, it’s cheap, it’s something that requires little effort or thought when you’re famished — however, we have conventional fast food to thank as one of the reasons why America’s waistline has increased while the health of our nation has deteriorated. Sure, McDonald’s offers salads, but I doubt that most people are going to the drive-thru to pick up a healthy meal. How can they when a double bacon cheeseburger and extra large fries are staring them in the face?
fast-food-ban-300x250

(via)

In recent years, America has gotten more savvy and health-conscious with fast casual dining, with restaurants like Panera Bread and Chipotle offering a ton of healthy options. When I find myself at one of these places, I love that I can easily look up the nutritional content of items and know how many calories I’m eating. In a society where French fries are the most consumed vegetable (I wish I was kidding), we surely could use more healthy fast food places around.

And that’s where Natural Selections, an up and coming Southern California fast food joint, comes in.

The California fusion eatery, which will be opening soon in the San Diego area, features healthy, natural, unprocessed, organic, seasonal and preservative-free food. Breakfast menu items include fresh fruit, yogurt with fresh berries and trail mix, turkey bacon and sausage and 12-grain toast. Lunch and dinner options include teriyaki tofu and blackened salmon dishes.

Lean and Green

The Lean and Green meal includes tofu ginger broccoli, brown rice, an apple walnut spring salad and zucchini squash.

So what’s unique about Natural Selections? The eatery features a customizable calorie-based menu designed to meet nutrition guidelines for various diets. As founder Evan Patrick explained it, “The Diet Size® is based upon a 1,200-daily calorie level, and includes one 300-cal breakfast and two 450-cal lunch/dinners. The Small size is based on a 1,500 calorie diet, Medium size is based on a 2,000 calorie diet, Large size is based on a 2,500 calorie diet, and XL size is based on a 3,000 calorie diet. As we both know, a huge component for eating healthy is to eat at the right calorie size. This makes serving healthy food challenging because everybody has different needs. So, regardless if you are a 6’2” male adult bodybuilder who is trying to bulk up, or a 5’2” female on a doctor-recommended diet, we can create a meal with any entrée, side, and drink at a calorie level that will fit your needs or your lifestyle.”

How awesome is it that Natural Selections takes the guess work out of trying to meet certain dietary guidelines, whatever they may be (and how yummy does The Lean and Green dish above look?!)? To give you an even better idea, here are a few of the ‘favorite meal’ items on their menu:

The Sprinter – chicken, brown rice, citrus salad and yogurt with fresh berries. Designed for running and intense workouts:

The Sprinter

The Bodybuilder – steak, grilled veggies, white rice, black beans, and cottage cheese with a banana walnut topping. A protein packed muscle-building meal: The Bodybuilder

The Long Distance – veggie fresh tomato & basil penne pasta, broccoli & carrots and garlic dill potatoes. A meal built for sustained energy: The Long Distance

I think that the restaurant concept is brilliant, and that’s why I wanted to share this info with all of you. I truly hope that fast food eateries geared toward a healthy lifestyle keep becoming more prevalent. With places like Natural Selections around, no one has the excuse that they “don’t have time” to fuel their bodies with healthy food… and that’s where you all come in! Friends, you can check out more yummy food pictures and help spread the word about this new restaurant by following Natural Selections on social media:

Facebook: Natural-Selections
Twitter: @NSGrill
Instagram: naturalselections

The restaurant is also about to launch a crowdfunding campaign in a few weeks to help raise additional funds to purchase cooking equipment and raise working capital. People that donate will be offered meals, hats, t-shirts, and other promotional items, but as Evan put it, “But really, my main goal is to generate publicity for the grand opening as well as publicity for a healthy lifestyle movement. It’s time for a real healthy fast food alternative, don’t you think?”

I couldn’t agree more. 😉

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. The owner of Natural Selections simply reached out to me, and I loved the whole premise of the restaurant. As always, all opinions expressed are solely my own. 

The Gilroy Garlic Festival

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Yesterday I spent a big chunk of my day attending the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Gilroy is known as the garlic capital of the world, and the festival is quite a big deal around here. It started in 1979, and the event has raised over $9.7 million for local charities since it started. They anticipated 100,000 people to attend the 3-day event this weekend – which is over double the population of the town!

I had already planned on checking the festival out with my hubby to see what all the buzz is about, but I also had another reason for going: A couple of days ago, I was given an assignment at the event for the newspaper I’ve been doing some freelance writing for. I was very official with my press badge!

Garlic-Festival-1I wore a long skirt in hopes of minimizing any attention drawn to my boot. It was kind of funny when a few people at the festival ran into me with baby strollers, noticed my boot, and then said, “Oh my gosh I’m sooo sorry!” Ha.

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Showing a little leg

Besides live music, cooking competitions, and food demonstrations, the festival was packed with food stands, with everything from pesto pasta, smoothies, popcorn and pie stands…

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…to the festival staples of garlic fries and garlic ice cream. Garlic-Festival-6

There were some food there that made me say “yuck!” – notably the cajun stand with crazy long lines of people anxious to try kangaroo, gator and frog legs.

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Adam tried a plate from a BBQ stand and ordered what he thought would be a typical chicken sandwich. He was surprised when it would up being these ginormous pieces of BBQ chicken with 2 slices of bread on the side.

Festival-BBQThe food item I had to write about for the newspaper was a new dish – garlic fried calamari. The irony of a vegetarian healthy living blogger writing about deep fried fish was not lost on me, but I mostly just had to chat with some people about how they liked the dish. You can check out the article here.

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I interviewed the dish’s creator for the piece, who was a super sweet man that insisted on me trying the calamari. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I don’t eat calamari, so Adam wound up with a free calamari dish. He gave it a big thumbs up!

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As expected, there wasn’t exactly a plethora of healthy options available, but I did see a couple of things that weren’t artery-clogging food, like garlic edamame, grilled corn on the cob and a Pasta Prima stand giving out ravioli samples.

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I’m a fan of both their heirloom tomato ravioli and the spinach & ricotta ones!

The festival had a big pavilion of local wineries that attendees could taste from. I would have loved to do some wine tastings, but after walking around in the hot sun for hours, I needed something cold. It’s times like these I wish I liked beer, because there was a huge beer garden at the event… but then I saw a sign for spiked wine sundaes, and I was all about it.

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Garlic-Festival-10Adam and I tried a blackberry sundae, which was just vanilla ice cream and blackberry wine. The wine wasn’t great, but it was refreshing. Plus they had water misters in the pavilion spritzing people, which felt glorious!

Festival-Wine

I was all about dessert at the festival, because the other thing I tried there was a chocolate covered frozen fruit kabob. Adam and I split one that had strawberry, banana and peach pieces. It was yummy!

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Being that I was at a garlic festival and didn’t eat anything with garlic, I nabbed a giant bulb to take home.

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When I first moved to the Bay Area, my girlfriend Angi, who used to live in San Francisco and has been to the Gilroy Garlic Festival, said that I should check out the festival, buy garlic there, come home and roast it, spread it on fresh bread, then eat it outside while enjoying some alcoholic beverages… and that’s exactly what I did!

Festival-Dinner

I had actually never roasted garlic before, and I followed these directions. Since I don’t like to eat things that are too garlicky, I mashed probably only 4  of the cloves, mixed it with a bit of light butter, then spread it on an entire loaf of French bread. Between the bread, cheese, and fruit, this meal was nothing short of awesome.

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Oh, and the wine… I just adore buttery chardonnay. J Lohr is one of my favorites – a very yummy but not too pricey Californian winery (I’ve been there before and definitely want to visit again)!

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Harley obviously had to be in the middle of things while I was snapping a few shots of dinner.

Harley-Photobombing

She just loves to photobomb my food pics, and then when I was to take a picture of her, she deliberately looks away. Nutty pup!

While my eats yesterday were indulgent, they were worth it. The festival was a fun time and something different to do. I enjoy experiencing things that are unique to an area, and the Gilroy Garlic Festival is just that.

Five Random Things This Friday

Happy Friday!

I’m in a sort of random mood, so I figured I’d do a random kind of post today – so here we go, five facts Friday!

#1 – I am currently munching on a slightly unusual but definitely delicious sandwich for lunch: Granny Smith apple + creamy goat cheese + raw honey + cinnamon on toasted whole wheat bread. Such a good combo!

GoatCh-Apple-Honey-Sandwich#2 –  Remember how in this post the other day I was talking about the perks of working from home? Well I’ve thought of another one that’s a biggie for a total messy eater like myself. When you work from home and you get chocolate from a protein bar smudged on your cheek or an (almond) milk moustache from your smoothie, the only other being who sees it is your dog. I was reminded of this one the other day when my landlord stopped by. We chatted for awhile, and when I later went to the bathroom, I noticed that I had black cherry Greek yogurt above my upper lip. Whoopsies. Definite perk of telecommuting! Harley doesn’t judge me for being a messy eater.

#3 – I went to the podiatrist yesterday and unfortunately left the office wearing this:

foot-cast

I had a hunch that they’d make me wear a soft cast… I also walked out (carrying) crutches. Anytime I’ve been given crutches, I hardly ever use them because it just takes too long to get anywhere! I’ll whine talk more about my foot injury at a later date.

#4 – After hearing so much hype from other bloggers about Quest Bars recently but not seeing
them at my grocery or health food stores anywhere, I finally came across some at The Vitamin Shoppe.

ChocChipC_med_box

I nabbed a couple of flavors to try, and now I see what all the fuss is about! My favorite one out of the flavors I’ve had so far is chocolate chip cookie dough. I love how they’re under 200 calories but have 20 g of protein. The ingredient list is pretty great except for the presence of sucralose, which I try to stay away from.

#5 – Tomorrow I’m going to the Gilroy Garlic Festival, which is a pretty big deal around here.

ggf-logo-2013Gilroy is a neighboring town of where I live, and it’s known as the garlic capital of the world. The festival is a 3-day event that apparently draws quite the crowd. I only like garlic in small amounts and I know that this will be a garlic overboard situation – no joke, I smelled garlic when I walked out of my house this morning! – but I’m interested to see what it’ll be like. Recently we tried garlic wine in Gilroy, which was not the best thing, so we’ll see what other garlic adventures I embark on tomorrow. Word is that the garlic ice cream is worth a shot!

Have a great weekend!

My New Favorite Dessert: Wine-Baked Peaches

This week my favorite nearby winery, Clos LaChance, was having a sale on a bunch of their wines. Naturally, I felt the need to stop by the winery yesterday to nab a couple of bottles on my way to the gym. Can’t let a sale of yummy local wine pass me by!

Besides buying bottles of grenache and pinot noir, I also got a bottle of their sweet late harvest semillon nectar white wine with one thing in mind: dessert last night.

Semillon-WineI had a couple of ripe peaches hanging out in my fruit basket ready to be eaten, and had the brilliant idea of baking them with some of the nectar wine, sugar, and cinnamon – because I love to sprinkle cinnamon on nearly everything – then pairing them with vanilla frozen yogurt.

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Oh.my.gosh. It was SO DELICIOUS and such an easy dessert to make.

peaches-1First I sliced the peaches in half, removed the pits, and cut out larger center cavities…

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…then I placed the peaches on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Next I whisked together the wine with truvia baking blend sugar mix, filled the center of the peaches with the wine/sugar mix, and sprinkled cinnamon on top.

peaches-4I popped them in the oven to bake at 350. After a long half-hour of smelling the glorious scent of baking fruit and sweetness, I took the peaches out, paired them with vanilla fro yo, and inhaled enjoyed my peach dessert with my hubby – because I was nice enough to share half of my creation with him. 😉

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I had one more ripe locally grown peach left in the house today, and seriously considered making another wine-baked peach. But then I realized that it was only noon on a Wednesday and I was working, sooo I resisted the urge and just ate the peach with cottage cheese and cashew pieces instead. Not quite as amazing, but the peach was still yummy!

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Wine-Baked Peaches
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large ripe peaches
  • 3 oz sweet white wine
  • 1½ TSP truvia baking blend (or 1 TBSP of regular sugar)
  • ¼ TSP cinnamon
  • 1 cup low fat/nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Cut two peaches in half lengthwise. Remove pits, then cut a large cavity in the middle of each peach half.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the wine and sugar blend together. Pour into each peach hole and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  4. Bake for half an hour. Remove from oven, and place 2 halves in 2 bowls. Top each with ½ cup vanilla fro yo, and enjoy!
Notes
*I used frozen yogurt that has the following nutrition info per ½-cup serving: 100 calories, 2 g fat, 18 g carbs, 15 g sugar, 4 g protein*
Nutrition Information
Calories: 210, Fat: 2 g, Carbohydrates: 41 g, Sugar: 28 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 5 g

Top 10 Life Mottos & Quotes of the Week

Earlier today, I realized that exactly 4 months ago I moved from San Diego to the San Jose area. In all honestly, I miss San Diego a lot, but I’ve been having a great time exploring the Bay Area and have settled into my life here. Between wine country, good food, farmers’ markets, beaches, and more, there’s no shortage of fun to be had in this area!

In other places I’ve lived, I’ve printed out motivational quotes or written sayings that inspire me on post-its, and then hung them up in places where I can see them on a daily basis. One thing my new place has been missing is some quirky quotes around, so I’ve been checking out some phrases to put up around my house.

I know that there are a lot of quote junkies out there like myself, so I wanted to share the top 10 mottos & quotes I found tonight with you all. Hope that they inspire you too!

justlivewalls

Jillian-Michaels-quote

The-Purpose-of-Life-Eleanor

glass-half-full-positive-quotecreating-yourself

never-regret

mind-is-everything

imperfection

Be-Yourself

Tofu Breakfast Tacos

Another weekend has flown by, and Monday came oh so quickly. As I’ve mentioned before, I telecommute for my job, and working from home has its perks:

Sometimes I work in my pajamas. As a matter of fact, if I have a conference call at 8 am or earlier, it’s an almost guarantee that I will not be dressed yet. I also get to work with my dog sleeping at my feet under my desk the majority of the time, which is pretty sweet.

I’m lucky enough to have a pretty flexible schedule. If I need a breather or am having writer’s block, I can go for a walk with my pup or take a workout break.

And since my kitchen is just down the stairs from my office, I make pretty much all of my meals. I love being able to make my own food and taking a few moments to play around with recipes. Cue today’s breakfast:

tofu-tacos-2I wanted to include some veggies in my breakfast, but didn’t feel like making a green smoothie. So instead, I came up with these tofu tacos – combining bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, avocado, chives and salsa with tofu and shredded cheese, then piling the mixture on mini whole wheat tortillas. I used Smart & Delicious wraps, which I love – they’re low in calories and fat, and high in fiber and protein. The tacos were a yummy way to get some produce in early on in my day!

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Tofu Breakfast Tacos
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 small whole wheat tortillas
  • 3 oz extra firm tofu, mashed
  • ¼ cup light shredded cheese (I used a mozzarella, monterey jack and cheddar mix)
  • 1 oz avocado, cubed
  • ½ large bell pepper (I used 1½ baby bell peppers)
  • ¼ cup cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ red onion, minced
  • 2 TBSP salsa
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 TBSP chopped chives
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat vegetable broth over medium heat. Add red onion, and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add bell pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Add mashed tofu and cherry tomatoes, and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, and mix in avocado, cheese, salsa and chives. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon tofu mixture onto each tortilla. Roll up and enjoy.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 370, Fat: 18 g, Saturated fat: 5 g, Carbohydrates: 36 g, Fiber: 19 g, Protein: 29 g

 

Keepin’ it Simple & Delicious: Arugula Goat Cheese Crostini

Hi there!

My Sunday morning has definitely started off on the right foot: I awoke to a message from my best friend saying that her and another girlfriend of mine are coming to visit me next month (YAY!), decided to have a living room yoga/stretching session in my PJs while my hubby and puppy still snoozed, and then I made a nice green monster smoothie to get my veggies & fruit in. Now I’m sitting here blogging to you in quite a fabulous mood. 🙂

This weekend has been a nice low-key one for me thus far. That should continue throughout today, as my only Sunday plans are cleaning and errands, exercising crazy Harley girl, and perhaps a mountain biking trip with Adam (I know I know, I was just talking about my foot injury in the last post – but I’m feeling out what workouts I can and cannot do, and will see how my foot feels during and after biking) and reading by the pool. I kicked off my weekend on Friday evening with an appetizer-style dinner eaten with Adam on our patio with a cool breeze drifting through.

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Sometimes I just love making a few appetizers as my main meal. I guess I’m like a little kid in that I love noshing on some finger food. The idea to have an app-dinner night started while nabbing some groceries at Trader Joe’s and passing their fresh bread section.

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Yum, I could eat a whole loaf myself, all on its own. But how could I do that when I had just picked up tons of gorgeous produce?

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So instead, I decided to keep it simple: slicing the baguette, brushing it with EVOO, baking it until lightly crispy, then spreading creamy goat cheese on top. After tossing arugula and cherry tomatoes with sea salt and EVOO, I topped the crostini with the veggie mixture and voila, my delicious appetizer was ready!

I also whipped up some hummus, which I spread onto red endive to make lettuce cups, and served with pita bread as well.

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Arugula Goat Cheese Crostini
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • 6 oz baguette (I used a half-baked rustic baguette from Trader Joe's)
  • 1½ TSBP extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 oz creamy goat cheese
  • ¼ TSP sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the baguette into 15 thin slices. Brush both sides of each slice with 1 TBSP of olive oil, place on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven until lightly browned (around 10 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, quarter the cherry tomatoes. Throw into a bowl with the arugula, sprinkle with ¼ TSP sea salt and drizzle with remaining ½ TBSP olive oil.
  4. Once bread has gotten toasty, remove from oven and allow it to slightly cool.
  5. Spread goat cheese evenly on one side of each slice. Top each with arugula/tomato mixture, and sprinkle with additional sea salt if desired.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 5 crostini, Calories: 250, Fat: 11 g, Saturated fat: 4 g, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 8 g

 

If I’ve put you in a crostini-making kind of mood and you’re looking for more recipe ideas, I wrote a post awhile back about crostini combos here.

Hope that you enjoy the rest of your day!

My Foot Pain Diagnosed: I Have Sesama-what?

Happy, happy Friday everyone!

Earlier today, I took Harley for a nice hike, and made peace with the idea that it might be the last challenging hike I go on for a bit, because I have some injury news to share..

Hiking-Collage

In the past week, I’ve had appointments for meeting with a sports medicine doctor, getting an x-ray and an MRI as well, all to figure out what the hell is going on with my foot and calf. You may or may not have read my posts where I’ve talked about my never-ending calf injury – a muscle I tore 3 years ago and have gone to physical therapy at two different facilities in an attempt to fully recover from it, which I haven’t felt like I’ve done thus far.

Last summer, I started to experience some weird foot pain by my big toe. After a general practitioner diagnosed it as plantar fasciitis after having barely looking at it, I took it upon myself to go to a rehab center. Based on my explaining a previous calf tear, talking about the aches and pains, and their telling me that my calf felt super tight, they ruled it to be a calf that is probably still partially torn and we began rehabbing it.

The people at the rehab center believed that my foot pain was just a side-effect of my calf injury. Looking back on it, I wish that we would have run some tests at the time to know for sure, but they said that there’s no point in doing an MRI unless I was considering surgery (which I wasn’t). Rehab there involved a lot of focusing on strengthening my left leg and glutes in general, with little to no emphasis on my foot. My foot pain only started to subside after months of rest, but as soon as I started to integrate more exercise back in, the pain came back. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the people at that rehab center, but I think they missed the mark with my diagnosis a bit because….

Fast forward to last week, and I’m talking with a sports medicine doctor, who wants me to get an x-ray because he’s worried I have a stress fracture in my foot.

Oh jeez, pleasseee let me not have a stress fracture! I’ll be out of commission for too long…

Luckily I didn’t. My MRI test results from a few days ago showed that oddly enough, my calf actually looks fine. The doc said that this isn’t uncommon for people with old injuries that are still bothering them. However, my foot MRI showed that I have sesamoiditis. If you’re wondering, what the the hell is that? – well, so was I.

Horizontal Sesamoiditis

(source)

Why yes, apparently I do. Thank heaven for the Internet, so I could research just what that means. Sesamoiditis is the irration of the sesamoid bones, which are tiny bones within the tendons that run to the big toe. According to foot.com:

Like the kneecap, the sesamoids function as a pulley, increasing the leverage of the tendons controlling the toe. Every time you push off against the toe the sesamoids are involved, and eventually they can become irritated, even fractured. Because the bones are actually within the tendons, sesamoiditis is really a kind of tendinitis – the tendons around the bones become inflamed as well.

Sesamoiditis is common in young people who are highly active – pretty accurate description of myself. To be frank, injuries are just plain annoying and aggravating. I’ve been walking around with sesamoiditis for probably a year, so I’m at least happy that I now actually have a diagnosis for this dull pain I’ve been experiencing.

According to the sports medicine doctor, my foot injury is not related to my calf injury, but I beg to differ. I’ve always had this natural outward stance on only my left leg. So which came first, the weird positioning of my foot/leg that caused my calf tear while running, or did my calf tear cause me to start unconsciously compensating and putting too much pressure on my inner foot, resulting in sesamoiditis? I’ll never know, and I suppose it doesn’t matter at this point.

I acknowledge that a big part of healthy living is listening to your body. While my foot pain has yoga-posenever been enough to sideline me completely from working out – because 1.) I don’t give up easily, 2.) the pain isn’t so bad that I can’t exercise and 3.) being active is just engrained in my lifestyle and is not something I am willing to just stop – I know that I’ll have to make some changes moving forward. The pain started last year as just a nagging ache under my foot, and now it’s turned into pain on the bottom of my foot, the top of my foot near my big toe, and even is kind of tweaking my ankle. I sometimes feel a dull pain when I’m laying in bed or watching TV on the couch, so clearly my body is telling me I need to do something besides icing it post-workout.

I have a hard time taking it easy, and I’m sure that this will be a big part of what the podiatrist tells me when I meet him/her. While I will not comply with completely stopping exercise, I certainly will decrease my activity to allow it to get better. We’ll see what the docs say about how to move forward, but I’m looking at it this way: It could be a lot worse. I’m not in horrible pain, and the scans didn’t show any fracturing of my bones, so I need to just be diligent with allowing it to heal so I can get back to 100%. Unfortunately I feel like it’s going to be hard to get better – I mean how I can I not use my feet a lot on a daily basis?

If you’ve gotten to the end of my long blabbering post, I thank you for reading. Sometimes when something like an annoying injury is taking up a lot of space in my mind, it’s therapeutic for me to write my thoughts down and vent a little. Moving forward I just want to be positive about it and remember that energy follows intention.

To end this post on a good note, I’m sharing a photo that I submitted today on Instagram for a yoga pose challenge that Fit Approach is doing:

crow-pose

I had other photos where my form is better and my head isn’t cut off from the picture like this one (like the photo above, when Harley was finishing her breakfast, thus not in the middle of the picture), but I couldn’t stop smiling at how accurate it is that Harley is 2 feet away from me licking her lips and being funny while I’m trying to take a photo of myself doing a yoga pose. This is how at-home workouts always seem to be with her around, and it cracks me up. Think it’s safe to say that my puppy is attached to her mother!

There might be a lot more low-impact exercise like yoga in my life moving forward. On the bright side, maybe I can improve my poses a lot more. Namaste everyone, enjoy your weekend!