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New Blog!

September 11, 2009

Are you still reading The Way I See Today?

You’re missing out on lots of great stuff at my new blog, Eat Clean Live Green!

Update your readers! I’ll see you over there 🙂

NEW BLOG !!!

September 6, 2009

 

Have you been wondering about my exciting new project I’ve been dropping hints about?

 

I’m just too excited to wait any longer…

 

The Way I See Today has moved to

EatCleanLiveGreen.com !!!

Make sure you update your reader, because all new posts will be at

EatCleanLiveGreen.com !!!

 

See you over there – all of The Way I See Today’s posts and comments will be waiting for you, as well as a new post! 😀

Goal Setting

September 5, 2009

Happy Saturday – it’s finally here! I’m almost always excited for Saturdays – the start of the weekend, wandering the Farmer’s Market, and lots of lots of time to get things done.

 

But that wasn’t why I was excited for Saturday this week. Today marked the conclusion of my – go one week without artificial sweeteners – challenge.

 

It was really hard! I have been craving a diet pop all week. Never having artificial sweeteners – ever – is just not going to work for me. However, I do think I should, and can, consume less. How?

  • Drink coffee with just milk. No splenda necessary! This will be the single biggest reduction of artificial sweeteners for me – I used to have some with my coffee every morning.
  • Once I finish the protein powder I have, I’m going to look for an artificial sweetener-free version.
  • No baking with artificial sweeteners. I haven’t done this in a long time, but it’s still worth mentioning!

I am however, going to have a diet pop every once in awhile. And I’m not going to worry about it.

 

But the fact that I’ve been craving a pop all week, when I told myself I wasn’t allowed it, really made me think. I set one other goal for myself this week: run three times. I did, and I can’t wait to run again.

 

There is a huge difference in positive and negative goal setting!

It’s definitely a mind trick, but setting a negative goal, ie: I can’t have ______ made me want it more. Setting a positive goal, ie: I will _____ made me feel so accomplished when I completed it!

 

From now on, I am going to set positive goals for myself! 😀

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Eats today included a bowl of granola with yogurt:

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A sample of hemp seeds at the Farmer’s Market (delicious, tasted like toasted pumpkin seeds!)

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My favorite non-coffee Starbucks drink: a nonfat vanilla Awake tea misto. As a bonus, it’s way cheaper than a latte! 🙂

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My Starbucks cup also had my favourite quote on it (it finishes with ‘lock you in forever’). I have the quote hanging on my bulletin board to remind me why I went to grad school!

 

Lunch was fabulous – I decided to combine sweet (blueberry) with savory (hummus) on a pita, based on Brandi’s wrap the other day! I also added spinach + onion + goat cheese (I’m halfway through the Costco brick!)

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Dinner was not fabulous. It was some leftover pasta in the freezer, topped with (what else?) some goat cheese. The pasta was all mushy – gross.  P1030090

So I settled on some PB+J toast. Much better!  P1030092 

I’m off to watch my favorite movie ever: BACK TO THE FUTURE!!!

 

How do you phrase goals you set for yourself?

Exciting News Pending

September 4, 2009

This post is coming up super late… because I’ve been working on a super exciting project!

I can’t wait to share it with you all 😀

 

I was running late this morning… for nothing in particular, but I was late. So I stopped at Starbucks for a breakfast sandwich (I love the turkey bacon/egg white combo) and a coffee.

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Just regular old coffee for me today – no PSL! Correct me if I’m wrong, but one packet of splenda is about as sweet as two packets of sugar? I’m on Day 6/7 of no artificial sweeteners, and this has meant some major changes to my coffee routine! While something like agave would be better than sugar, most coffee places don’t have it! So in the process of weaning myself off sweet coffee, this week I dropped to 1 pack of sugar, from 1 pack of sweetener.

 

FYI. I have never wanted a diet coke so much as I have this week. No artificial sweeteners, ever, is not going to work for me!

 

Lunch was excellent – last night’s zucchini spaghetti on top of some spinach.

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The spinach got a little warm, but not mushy. Perfect.

 

I went for a run this afternoon, and it was so hard. Even though I did the exact same run as I did two days ago, which I flew through before! I had a rockin’ playlist though – and it pulled me through! Notables included:

  • Crazy in Love – Beyonce
  • Hot and Cold – Katy Perry
  • Tearin’ up My Heart – NSYNC

 

Yes. NSYNC. I am not in the least ashamed.

 

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After my run, I mixed up my usual yogurt with granola… to be granola with yogurt! Crazyness. I also added a banana.

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And a peach on the way out the door for dinner at Brewsters!

 

I had a huge “glass” of wine. It came with a refill!  ahh, happy hour. 🙂

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And a Bison burger for dinner.

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Yep, that’s a huge burger. And I ate it all – I was starving!

 

We went to see the Time Traveler’s Wife tonight -  I loved it. It was actually an excellent book-to-movie translation! The cast was wonderful. However, I have a feeling if you haven’t read the book, the movie wouldn’t be quite so magical.

 

Stay tuned for my exciting news! Should be coming this weekend. Or should I wait until Tuesday?

High Fructose Corn Syrup – Is it really that bad?

September 4, 2009
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It’s cheap. It’s sweet. It’s in everything from Coke to bread.

It’s probably the second most popular mantra in healthy eating: avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  (The first being eat lots of fruits and vegetables!)

What is HFCS anyways? It is a mixture of fructose and glucose, which are combined in different proportions depending on the end use:

  • HFCS-55 (which is the main form used in soft drinks) contains 55% fructose and 45% glucose.
  • HFCS-42 (which is the main form used in canned fruit in syrup, ice cream, desserts, and baked goods) contains 42% fructose and 58% glucose.

Table sugar, or sucrose, is also a combination of fructose and glucose, only the molecules are bonded together, in a 50/50 ratio.

One of the first things to note is that HFCS is not really that high in fructose, compared to table sugar. HFCS is more like 20%-more-fructose-than-sugar-corn-syrup.

More than 50 fruits, vegetables, and nuts fall within the fructose composition range of HFCS, sucrose, invert sugar, and honey, i.e., 42–55% of the total sweetener being composed of fructose, refuting the widely held misconception that HFCS has an atypically high ratio of fructose. (J. White, “Misconceptions about high-fructose corn syrup: is it uniquely responsible for obesity, reactive dicarbonyl compounds, and advanced glycation endproducts?” J Nutr. 2009 Jun;139(6))

Aren’t fructose and glucose metabolized differently in the body?

Consumed fructose and glucose have different rates of gastric emptying, are differentially absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, result in different endocrine profiles, and have different metabolic fates, providing multiple opportunities for the 2 saccharides to differentially affect food intake. … On balance, the case for fructose being less satiating than glucose or HFCS being less satiating than sucrose is not compelling. (TH Moran, “Fructose and satiety”. J Nutr. 2009 Jun;139(6)).

Another thing you’ll frequently hear is that the processing of HFCS is extremely complex and industrial. In health circles, industrial seems to be something to be feared, which is really something that gets on my engineering nerves.

A popular misconception is that the corn wet milling process for HFCS is more “complex” than the perceived “simpler” or “more natural” processes for sugar, fruit juice concentrate, or agave nectar production. However, the manufacturing processes for all fructose-containing sweeteners must include production methods that can accommodate raw materials carrying a formidable hodgepodge of agricultural dirt and residue, botanical structure and nonessential chemical compounds, and unwanted colors, flavors, and odors. The production methods in each case must refine the raw material into a robust and versatile sweetener that can be formulated into a wide range of foods and beverages. Common unit operations are relied on by all sweetener producers to accomplish this task: pulping, clarification, evaporation, carbon treatment, ion exchange, centrifugation, filtration, and enzyme treatment.(J. White,” Misconceptions about high-fructose corn syrup: is it uniquely responsible for obesity, reactive dicarbonyl compounds, and advanced glycation endproducts?” J Nutr. 2009 Jun;139(6))

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for locally grown foods, and supporting your local economy. But industrialization does not infer inferior or undesirable. Even some local foods will have been through some sort of machinery for sorting and cleaning.

What does this all mean? Overall, HFCS and table sugar are very similar in both sweetness and behaviour, and neither one is ‘healthier’ than another. In addition, all sweeteners have been processed to some extent.

However, due to the fact that HFCS is so cheap and shelf-stable, it is used in many products, often in combination with a very long list of other ingredients. Some of these other ingredients may indeed be detrimental to your health, such as hydrogenated oils. The presence of HFCS on an ingredient list can be a warning sign that the food is highly processed.

Whole foods are absolutely the best choice.  But if you are choosing between sugar and HFCS, look at the other ingredients on the label –  research suggests that they likely matter more.

Both sugar and HFCS should be consumed in limited  amounts – we are eating too much of the sweet stuff, no matter what the source! And yes, sweeteners like agave nectar and brown rice syrup may have other nutritional or metabolical benefits.

But I’m not going to worry about the HFCS in my ketchup anymore.

Canadian’s – notice we don’t see a lot of HFCS on our ingredient labels? That’s because HFCS is called glucose/fructose in Canada!

What is your sweetener of choice? What do you think about HFCS?

Zucchini Strand Spaghetti

September 3, 2009

 

I’ve had this recipe in my ‘to-make’ pile for over a year. I finally decided to make it, thinking it would be an excellent way to say good-bye to summer.

 

The recipe was made almost identically to the Smitten Kitchen recipe, except that I subbed goat cheese for parmesan, and left out all of the extra oil (as I read the recipe it called for 2.25 C of oil! I only used the 0.25 🙂 )

 

Et Voila!

P1030062 P1030063 P1030064  P1030066 P1030067  P1030069 P1030070

hmm, the picture shows more noodles and cheese than zucchini. In reality, they were more like equals 😉

It.Was.Excellent. Even better with some dark chocolate after dinner.

 

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Good night!

Catching Up

September 3, 2009

 

Today has been a super busy day, and I’m just sitting down to my computer now! But also a  pretty awesome day, and you know why?

 

I saved 40% on my cable/tv/internet bill by asking if they had a student discount!!!

Yay!!!

 

Catching up on yesterday’s eats….  P1030045 P1030046

peach + yogurt with granola. Outside 🙂

 

Dinner was not the summer extravaganza I promised… that got pushed back to tonight! You’re going to have to check back tonight for it 😉

 

Instead, dinner was breakfast!

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Bacon and eggs (from the Farmer’s Market!) and toast with homemade jam. I love breakfast for dinner.

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A scoop of ice cream for dessert. Note that it’s in a coffee mug. Works for portion control, and when you have very few clean dishes ;-) 

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And a glass of milk before bed. I almost never drink plain milk, but it sounded and tasted so good last night!

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Catching up to today…. 

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which started with some overnight oats. I was impressed!

1/3 C oats, soaked overnight with 1/3 C strawberry yogurt. I added 1/2 a banana and some coconut flakes this morning.

It was a very interesting texture. Enjoyable. But kind of odd.

 

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The overnight oats didn’t hold me over as long as a bowl of real oatmeal would have, so I had this bar around 11. Nature’s Path Optimum Peanut Butter Energy Bar.

 

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It was good – I’ll buy it again (bonus, it was cheaper than the Luna/Clif bars!). Light peanut butter taste and not too sweet. Plus, it had swirly icing, which is always cool. 🙂

 

Lunch was grabbed quickly at Safeway on my way home from getting my awesome deal on cable!

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Kinda disapointing though – a veggies sandwich, with artichokes. Turns out, I don’t like artichokes, and I picked them all out.

This makes the list of veggies I don’t like: artichokes, mushrooms and green beans. Yuck! lol

 

I balanced lunch out with some guaranteed tastyness, a Pumpkin Spice Latte!

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And a piece (or 2) of cake in the lab afternoon. It’s someone’s birthday, and would have been rude to say no! right? 

 

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It was called ‘broken glass’ – whipped cream with jello on a graham cracker crust. A perfect summer cake… which will go perfectly with my summer dinner tonight!

 

What vegetables do you not like?

The Last Few Days of Summer

September 2, 2009

What a day! I’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions today – unexplained sadness, happiness, frustration and now content.

I’m content because I’m sitting outside, enjoying the last few days of summer 🙂

This is my current view, nice eh?!     P1030044

Breakfast this morning was a delightful concoction I discovered while perusing blogland yesterday – carrot cake oatmeal! I knew when I saw it, that it would be today’s breakfast, regardless of the weather 😉

 

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1/3 C rolled oats + 1/3 C shredded carrots + 1/3 C milk + 2/3 C water + 1T maple syrup + dash cinnamon = delightfulness.

 

Later on this morning I had an extremely camera shy miniature cinnamon bun. Seriously, the conversation went like this:

 

me: minnie cinnie, I would like to take a picture of you for my blog

cin: I’m frightfully unhealthy. I’m scared to be on your blog.

me: but you’re so tasty! and balance is healthy!

cin: I have really low self-confidence, I’m full of white flour and refined sugar.

me: but you’re pretty.

 

Hopefully the next time I have one, cin isn’t so shy! 😉

 

I then went for an awesome blues-kicking run. It was fun. It was a run that makes you want to run again tomorrow 🙂

 

For lunch, I had a tasty wrap:

  

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Spinach + HUMMUS + goat cheese + carrots + onion.

 

I’m super excited for dinner tonight – it’s still summer for 20 more days, and I’m having a very summery meal!

Are you ready for fall, or holding on to summer? I’m doing a little of each!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

September 1, 2009

 

 

When I was little, my brother had a book about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, in which the TMNT defeated the bad guys (of course!) and celebrated with pizza. Splinter made them the pizza from his secret recipe, which was given at the back of the book. Splinter’s pizzas soon became a regular fixture in my house, and I still call them that 15 years later:

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English muffin pizzas = Splinter’s pizzas! 😀

 

Mine might be a little more grown up than the 5 year old version, with the red pepper flakes, but not much! lol.

 

On the side was a super simple salad with spinach + goat cheese + pesto parmesan dressing.

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I haven’t even made a dent in the Costco-purchased goat cheese! Any suggestions?

Eats earlier today included some sort of veggie wrap. It was soggy, and had mushrooms (ew!) and olives (ew! ew!) on it. I had two bites and threw it out.

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And a cookie. It’s so hard to eat healthy at conferences/workshops!

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   Once back in class I scarfed down this super-smushed PB&J I made before rushing out the door this morning (thank goodness I did, or I would have been STARVING!)  P1030029

When we broke for a break, there was fruit! Yay! I had some delicious pineapple, strawberries and grapes with about a tsp of vanilla yogurt.

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Even with the fruit, I was starving after this workshop today, and still had some work to get done before going home. Thankfully, I found some instant oatmeal in the lab, which held me over until the Splinter’s Pizzas!

 

Lesson learned: when attending conferences/workshops/anywhere there is ‘provided’ food bring LOTS of your own snacks!! Just in case 🙂

 

Coming soon at TWIST:

  • HFCS – is it really that bad?
  • and some super exciting news!   

Hello September!

September 1, 2009

 

I’m so happy September is here. I’m super excited about this fall – the summer has had a lot of ups and downs, and I’m really looking forward to a (hopefully) more steady fall.  

 

Maple, on the other hand, seemed sad last night that August was leaving.P1030018

Dinner last night was fajitas! Red pepper wrap with orange and red peppers, organic chicken, salsa and a little cheese. I had one wrap, and then one more serving of the filling.

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and some crabapple crisp for desert. With a scoop of vanilla-caramel-fudge ice cream. Delish!!

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I was in a super rush this morning, so no time for oatmeal. 😦

A banana on the way out the door:

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and a pumpkin spice latte on the way! (non-fat-no-whip). I love PSL’s!

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Mid-morning I had some yogurt + granola.

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I’m in a TA workshop all day, and I thought it would be boring, but it’s really getting me excited to be a TA!

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of healthy options to eat. And due to the lack of much of a breakfast – I’m hungry! I did my best with half a banana muffin, and a tiny sliver of a cinnamon bun. Cinnamon buns  are my weakness, so I’m really proud there is only this sliver on the plate (and it was excellent!)

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Break’s almost over – here’s hoping lunch has some healthy options! There is supposed to be fruit at the break this afternoon 😀

 

What do you eat at a conference/workshop when there is not a lot (any) of healthy options?