Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Five Time

We are wrapping this week up Friday Five style over here. In case you were unaware I have been on vacation and just got back yesterday. I should have lots of pictures to share with you today, but to be honest I took approximately 5 the whole trip. I was too busy actually living in the moment, rather than viewing it from behind a camera lens. I got a few snaps up on instagram if your super interested in stalking me.
  1. Waking up at 5:25 after almost a week of vacation is one of the hardest things ever. Thank god for Scottish Breakfast tea, I mean the tea itself is great but a splash of whiskey in is a wonderful way to start the day. Thank you Dianna Gabaldon  for the idea.Displaying InstagramCapture_84c5cdd8-461b-413c-92ed-49bedafeb006_jpg.jpg
  2. My ankles and knees are super swollen from the awesome sunburn I got while on vacation. Be prepared for some sunburn remedy posts, because this week I have tried them all!
  3.  The Journey that is the Yellow Table Cookbook, has got me all kinds of inspired to throw dinner parties, left and right, and tonight! I rhymed and it’s true I’m having one of my good friends and her family over for dinner tonight. It’s been a long time and I’m stoked
  4. Because this quote it exactly how I am feeling right now. Stay close to what keeps you feeling alive!
  5.  Now since it is Friday let’s just get started by backing our azzes up with and oldie but a goodie. I hear this song walking the strip on vacation. A couple of redneck boys in a pickup had it blaring. Let’s just hope for their sakes that I just popped up on the classic rock station and they were too lazy to change it? 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Million Reasons to Try Lamb Kofta


Oh the goodness. I cannot even begin to tell you how delicious this recipe is. From the intriguing flavor of the spiced lamb, to the cooling effect of the tzatziki, and the light fluffy texture of the pita there is so much awesomeness going on I can’t even describe to you.

It’s surprisingly not spicy, I say surprisingly because Middle Eastern food makes me think spice, but maybe that just goes to show that I need to step out of my box more.

Don’t leave out a single spice, they blend together so well that I can’t imagine any of them not being together. Also don’t skimp on the spices, they are completely necessary to make this thing work. Though you can use whole ginger (about ½ inch piece peeled) I opted for Penzys Dried ginger because I never use up a whole root before it goes bad, and it’s a waste. Also Penzys cinnamon is the bomb just saying. In fact you should probably just go check out the entire store and stock up on everything there. Here is a store locator. No this is not a sponsored post, I just love that place.


You could potentially use beef if lamb scares you, or is too expensive, but honestly I think the flavor of the lamb is what makes the spices work so well, and it the perfect vehicle, so really don’t mess with that either.  

Tzatziki is awesome, enough said.

As for the pita, please, please don’t break them open. Simply toast them up a bit and fold that beautiful round thing like a fluffy taco to hold all of your lamb-tzatziki goodness.

Toppings are simple, a bit of tomato, and arugula for a bit of brightness and crunch.  Then go right ahead dig on in. Let the juices run down your hand and make a big old mess. It’s good. So good. Go ahead and enjoy it. You know you want to. 


Kofta Kabobs (Recipe Adapted from TheBlackPepercorn.com
1 lb lean ground lamb
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and hand knead until well combined (Note: if using wooden skewered soak them in water for 15-20 minutes before using them). Break the meat into 4 equal sections and form long thin egg shaped balls. Thread them onto a skewer and place them onto a preheated grill. Cook for 12-15 minutes, turning regularly until the center is no longer pink. Remove from heat and serve with pita, and tzatziki. (Serves 4)


Tzatziki (Recipe Adapted from Food Network)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, shredded, & drained
1 cup of Greek yogurt
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh dill
sprinkle fresh ground pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined. Serve chilled.

So maybe I didn’t actually list a million reasons, but I think I praised it all well enough to make you see the light.


What’s your favorite ethnic cuisine? Have you tried Middle Eastern food? What do you think of it?





Monday, July 21, 2014

Changing My Diet the Facts & How I Feel 7/21

I’m replacing today’s usually scheduled fitness update to talk about the whole Part Time Vegetarian thing that I am trying out. I want to preface this by admitting to you all (as if you didn’t know before) that I am a total nerd and I’m probably going overboard here but that’s me, so feel free to skip to the bottom where I talk about how the effects this whole thing has had on me.

Since the beginning of this experiment I have been tracking my diet in excel (again dork status). I don’t plan on doing this forever especially if I decide to stick with this diet, right now it’s important to me to make sure I am getting everything my body needs nutritionally and spiritually (ie. I’m not craving anything major) to function properly. It has also helps me keep track of how I feel after I eat certain types of food. Already after only a few weeks of tracking I have a good idea of how to balance my diet. To begin with I made sure I was getting the right volume of macro nutrients (fat, protein, carbs) in my diet. For a base I used .35-.5 g/lb fat (or .4g/lb @ my body weight = 56g/day), 1-1.2 g/kg  protein  (so roughly 1.1g/kg @ my body weight = 69.85g/day) and the rest is carbs. Where did I come up with these ratios? Lots and lots of research and experimenting with my own diet since college. Yes I’m such a dork I have kept spreadsheets and note book on this kind of thing for years.

We are both dorks, and he was a vegetarian. Clearly kindred spirits.

There is a lot of debate about how much protein we should actually be getting. FDA recommends .8g/kg of bodyweight, however this is for a typical sedentary person with 20-25% bf. This is not for everyone, and doesn’t account for active people (active being a relative term, and again another debate for another day). There are a million articles that debate a million different ratios of protein to bodyweight, or LBM (lean body mass). Right now I feel the best on a 60-100g range of protein a day. What I mean when I say my best is that I have high energy while still feeling strong and being able to make slow gains in weight lifting. If I eat more protein I tend to feel more sluggish, and crave fats, whether that comes from a decrease in fat intake on those days or an over abundance of protein I haven’t figured out yet, but maybe that will be the next experiment.

When I refer to fats I try to keep it to the healthy fats, EVOO, avocado, dairy, eggs, etc. I know there is a lot out there that says you should have a low fat diet, but in truth you need fats for proper brain function and hormone production. A diet too low in fat can have disastrous effects. I’m not saying you should go crazy with the fried food, just be smart.

Carbs I have found it pretty easy with these, since I already made a change by trying not to get them through starches (pasta, white rice, etc..) I have been eating a lot more vegetables, which it great for my energy and the antioxidants. I have been loving bean burritos, and potatoes, like totally and completely craving them. I hope this isn’t a phase because for the first time in my life I’m not dreaming about mounds of cheese covered pasta, and it feels good.

So far I have only slipped three times and I’m on week 5. I originally planned to only do this for 2 weeks, but the first two weeks went so well I decided to extend it for a month, and now until the end of July. I’m going to reevaluate how I feel, and what my goals are then and see if I need to make any changes. By then I’ll have had 6 weeks under my belt.

As far as cravings go it’s been cheese pizza, and ice cream. These are two of my favorite things, and I think I will always crave them, so I guess I’m not craving anything weird.

Things I have noticed: My abs are more visible. I didn’t expect this so I never took a picture of my stomach before, and now I wish I had. I think it has to do with bloating more than body fat but either way I will take it. The dark circles under my eyes that I have had FOREVER are way lighter!! I have been taking a multivitamin for years and it never did much, so maybe getting more “stuff” out of my food is helping. There have been a few others, but I’m going to wait until the 6 weeks is up to discuss them.

I think this is a long enough post now. Thank you for those of you who made it through!

What are your thoughts on vegetarianism, veganism, flexitarianism or pescatarianism? (did I miss any?)

How would you describe your diet?


Do you think this is the kind of diet you could do?
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