The Perfect Cup of Green Tea

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I’ve spoken of my taking up tea this year. I have been a tea drinker for 3 years, but since changing my eating habits, I have truly become a several cups a day tea drinker.  I have tried green tea in many forms, mainly straight up, flavored and Matcha. To this date I still prefer straight up green tea, specifically Yogi Green Tea. Well last week I went and had a facial to help with my acne issues and my facialist suggested that I drink green tea, I told her that I do and she asked what I put in it. I told her that I have tried it with lemon, rock sugar, and raw honey.  I have stuck with the raw honey even though its still nothing spectacular, just something that I know has good health benefits and a good way to start my day. She said that she uses a cinnamon stick and raw honey in her green tea, and that since cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory spice, I should try this combination as an internal acne fighter. Well, she is a freakin genius!

greenteaEvery morning this week I have begun my day with a cup of green tea with half of a cinnamon stick and 1/2 a teaspoon of raw honey. I LOVE IT! The cinnamon adds the PERFECT touch to green tea. All I can say is try it! You will not be sorry.

The Perfect Cup of Green Tea

1 Tea Bag of Yogi Green Tea

8 oz Warm Water

1/2 tsp Raw Honey

1/2 Stick Cinnamon

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Quinoa and Kidney Bean Salad

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Saturday evening, while making my grocery list, I almost put some chicken on the list, in order to make the Zuzka Light sexy abs recipe before I said to myself, why buy when you have plenty of stuff in your pantry? I walked over to the pantry, opened the doors and said to myself, you haven’t eaten Quinoa in awhile, and you haven’t used your beans yet, lets see what we can find. During my recipe search , I stumbled across this video:

I prepared the Quinoa in a water and oj mixture, and I made fresh beans from my Mason Jar dry bean stash. Let me just take a moment to say that the Mason Jar legumes, grains and beans idea is the best idea I have had yet. I truly use something from those jars at least once a day, ok back to the topic at hand. I had pretty much everything needed for the recipe already in my home, so after my grocery trip, I put some beans on to cook (I soaked them the night before.  While the Quinoa cooked, I chopped away, added spices, and by the time the Quinoa was done, I was done preparing the dish. The only change I made was to the parsley, I prefer Cilantro, and since she suggested substitutions, I chose to take her suggestion.

I made this dish for my lunch entree of the week. Yesterday I ate it cold and today I ate it warm, and I have to say I prefer it warm, but it was good cold. All in all, the spices really make this dish taste delicious, and the combo of protein and veggies is filling and seriously nutritious. This weeks lunch sides include Cherries, Cucumber (with salt and olive oil), Bell Pepper (Green and Red) and Hummus for dipping. I’ll talk about my work snack Thursday.

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Grocery List: 08/11/13

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I didn’t have to buy as much this week, but I am still stocking up on fruits for smoothies, so I still came close to the same price as last week, aka expensive. However, I am eating more from home, so its actually cheaper because I am not spending soo much money eating out. I bought Coconut Oil this week as I intend to try cooking with it. Its just an alternative to Olive Oil, speaking of Olive Oil, I bought olive oil specifically for eating, not cooking.  My boyfriend wanted Turkey Burgers, so I bought them for him, I may eat them, I may not.  Enough already, let’s get to the list:

The List

groceries

Produce

I Love Organic Girl I Heart Baby Kale

I Love Organic Girl Supergreens

Peaches

Sweet Potatoes

Scallions

Cilantro

Tomato

Cherries

Blueberries

Strawberries

Bananas

Lime

Meat

Turkey Patties

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

Frozen Food

Strawberry Sorbet

Grocery

Ezekiel 4:9 Cinamon Raisin Cereal

Colovita Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Other

Smoothie Straws

Yogi Chai Rooibos

Bottled Water

Bottled Drinking Water

I am freezing the Blueberries, most of the Strawberries, 5 of the bananas, and two of the peaches for smoothie making. The two lettuce blends are not for salads, instead they are for smoothies. They are new for me, but I read the labels and between the two they have spinach, kale, swiss chard, tango, romaine, oakleaf lettuce, tat soi, and arugala. I consider that a hella wonderful mix, the downside is the fact that they are about $5 each which is $1 per ounce. I don’t mind the price, due to plain convenience, but it is cheaper to buy these greens separately. I made my entree for taking lunch this week and it is divine, I will post a recipe tomorrow.

freezing

 

My New Toy

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A couple of weeks ago, a person in my life who shall not be named, broke my tea kettle. I thought, no big deal, I’ll get a new one soon. Well it took a couple of weeks without a kettle to realize how much I have incorporated tea into my life, so much so, that its quite difficult to live without it. I tried just warming water in the microwave, but its hard to take the water out before it boils, which is ideal when making tea. Thusly, I was only making black tea, which is fine brewed in boiling water, and well that was getting old fast. Resultantly, I went on the hunt for a new tea kettle, and after a bit decided to buy an electric kettle, more importantly, one with variable temperatures. After much research I decided on this one:

kettle

Cuisinart PerfecTemp Cordless Programmable Kettle

 

It has settings for the various types of tea so I should get more flavor from my favorite teas. This means an even more enjoyable tea and faster tea making experience. This kettle is about to get tons of use.

Lunch

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I bought a lunch bag last month because its a very simple way to bring lunch to work each week. However, as you know, I ate out for lunch most of the time last month out of sheer laziness and lack of preparation. Well, as part of this months pledge to only eat from Home, I went to Walmart in search of food containers to bring lunch because the Ziploc bag option is just so very wasteful to me. After standing and looking at tupperware for about 30 minutes (its actually a mind numbing experience), I decided on this (plus a couple of small .5 cup snack containers):

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Rubbermaid

It was only about $7. I didn’t buy it for the purpose of a sandwich, even though that is a great option, I bought it for its potential to hold fruits, nuts, and vegetables. I feel that if I fill the bottom portion with veggies, the top small container with dip, the second small container with fruit, and the side with dessert, nuts, or more fruit its perfect. I still plan to take an entree in my larger 2 cup pyware because they are microwaveable. I feel that this container is the perfect balance of fruits and veggies for a balanced and healthy lunch, regardless of my entree, which could really be anything (pasta, soup, sandwich, salad, etc). The containers are small, which means I will be eating proportionately.

Today’s Lunch:

lunch

Entree: Brown Rice Pasta with Red Sauce, Sides/Snacks: Carrots, Red Bell Pepper, Hummus, Cherries, Almonds, Sunflower Seeds(Not pictured below)

A couple bottles of water and/or tea always accompanies me from the house, so I almost never buy a drink when I am out and about.  I can definitely say that this is a step in the correct direction for a more fit me.  I will finish my day with a green smoothie pre-run and Salmon with grains/veggies for dinner. By the way, I usually post my day to day food interestingness on Instagram, Missmusic12.

Oh and I bought my lunch bag from Target for $9.99

Grocery List 8/1/13

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I decided to forego the Simple Green Smoothies 21 Day Cleanse. Instead I will just apply all I know and eat from home with the exception of once a week. I was just shy of being completely out of smoothie ingredients, so I stocked up on tons of fruits and veggies. I also plan to eat more veggies as part of my lunch and dinner, so that added to the veggie count. I didn’t buy much meat because I buy the fish as I need it, and I plan to get chicken tenders Sunday or Monday.

grocery

Everything is from Publix

The List

Other

Sabra Hummus

Publix Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

Frozen Food

Publix Frozen Steamer Cauliflower Blend

Publix Frozen Steamer Brown Rice

Publix Frozen Steamer in Pods

Publix Frozen Steamer Mixed Vegetables

Produce

Celery

Pineapple

Honeydew Melon Chunks

Strawberries

Hearts of Romaine

Spinach

Red/Green Bag of Bell Peppers

Carrot Sticks

Cherries

Sweet Potates

Fuji Apples

Cucumbers

Tomato on the Vine

Peaches

Avocado

Lemons

Mango

Bananas

Meat

Ground Chicken

Beverages

Florida’s Natural Orange Juice

Bottled Water

Dairy

Almond Milk

Chobani Greek Yogurt

Pepper Jack Cheese Slices

Nuts

Lightly Salted Dry Roasted Peanuts

I stored everything as it should be to ensure longevity. Yesterday I froze the pineapple and mango, and I will freeze half of the strawberries today.  I forgot to buy more cereal, so I will buy that when I buy chicken tenders, otherwise, I am all set for a couple of weeks. Staying healthy is 80% Food and 20% Exercise, so things are looking up this month.

pineapple

Frozen Pineapple

Meal Ideas

Smoothies

Grilled Cheese

Spaghetti

Tacos

Salad

Snacks

Side Dishes

Brown Rice Spaghetti with Avocado Cream Sauce

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I finally tried my second batch of Brown Rice Pasta, this time Cannellini, and I tried an Avocado Cream Sauce for the first time. The Pasta is wonderful, it seems to be fresher than the regular store bought pasta, and it hold flavor quite well. As for the cream sauce, I may make it again, but it will be awhile.

Let me just say that I am always leary of eating raw garlic, its not usually a good idea. I was trying this recipe for the first time, so I decided to go with it, but I quickly regretted this decision. All I could taste from the sauce was the bitterness of raw garlic, it was quite unpleasant and off putting. The sauce spread well, even though it was thick, which was probably due to the warmth of the pasta. I managed to get through a bowl of pasta, but its going to be awhile before I forget the taste of that. I will make it again, eventually, with cooked garlic, thus I will change the recipe. I think this recipe was a good idea, its just the execution that needs to be tweaked, at least as far as my taste buds are concerned.

 

avocado pasta

Recipe can be found here: Creamy Avocado Pasta