Thursday, June 25, 2015

What I'm Reading: June 2015

summer break = sailing! this is D learning how to sail a small sailboat
Now that I'm done with school for the term (hello, summer break! goodbye, thoughts of organic chemistry!), I'm able to spend some time reading things I want to read! Here are a few links to things that have caught my interest lately on the web...

-Thinking about where our food comes from, specifically non-organic produce.

-I'm not a super big fan of the paleo diet (or really, any fad diet for that matter), but this is a pretty funny article about the paleo diet. 

-In our organic chemistry labs, we had to deal with some pretty awful chemicals. When I read this article, I felt like I was reading a procedure for an o-chem lab. Ick. 

-Thankfully, in regards to the previous article, you can make at-home protein powders that are completely safe for consumption (whew!).

-I want to make this soo badly. Now that I'm out of school for a few weeks and have some time to kill, I think I will!

-It took him years of research and contacting the federal government, but due to his research on trans fat, this 100-year-old was finally able to get it recognized as unsafe.

-This is my new favorite TV show. I needed a break from House of Cards, but still wanted something edgy. This was it.

-These are good, basic rules to follow for healthy eating.

-This is so depressing. We need to figure out a way to stop wasting food! 

-People tend to focus on nutrients rather than whole foods. I'm so thankful that I'll be attending a college that focuses on whole foods rather than nutrients.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Remembering My Father on the Fifth Anniversary of His Death

my dad and me, taken when I moved out into my own apartment (circa 2007 or so?)
Father's Day always brings with it a sense of pleasure mixed with pain; I'm happy for everyone celebrating their fathers on this day and also sad that I can't celebrate my own father. 

It's been five years since his death, and as every year passes, it becomes easier for me to think about him, but these thoughts are not without a few tears here and there. In fact, as I was reading my two-years-later post (written 3 years ago), I teared up, remembering how I felt when I wrote it and feeling thankful that the pain has somewhat diminished since then.

It's tough to lose a parent when you're still in your 20's. It's hard because more than anything, when I say something goofy or recite a line from a song that my dad loved, I'll look at D, expecting him to recognize the reference and laugh along with me. And that brings me to one major regret, and something I mourn nearly every single day: my dad never met D, the most important person in my life. I know they would have hit it off, and I know they would have really enjoyed each other's company. And I'm so sad that my father never got to see how happy I am with D.


I have other regrets as well regarding my father, some having to do with basically being a brat for the first year or so after his diagnosis (I was 17 years old and this news rocked my world, so obviously, I acted out). But for the most part, I've had time to forgive myself over those thoughts and now, whenever I think of my father, the regrets that come up most are these:
  • not knowing my father more as an adult
  • being more patient with him as his disease progressed
  • spending more time with him prior to him dying
  • telling him I loved him more
  • him not knowing that I'm finally in a really happy place
  • him not getting to see his grandchildren (my sister's children) grow up
  • him not being there for all the major milestones of my life that have occurred during the past few years: moving in with D, buying a house, getting a kitty, moving up to Seattle, and getting into Bastyr University
  • he won't get to walk me down the aisle when I eventually get married

And there are some things that I miss so much whenever I think about him. Those are...
  • his (silly) jokes and humor that I definitely inherited from him!
  • talking about Chicago (his hometown) with him
  • hearing how much the world has changed over the course of his life
  • not having him around

I miss him still, and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon. I'm so thankful D is willing to listen to my memories and soothe my tears, because I still have a lot of both for my father.

You can read my original post from the day he died here

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Strawberry Green Smoothie: Vega One Protein Powder Recipe and Review


Embarrassingly, I've had a sample of the new Vega One Protein Powder* in my cupboard for about 4 months now. You might (or might not!) have noticed that I was basically absent from the blog for a few months during my very challenging winter term (January - March), and spring term is just starting to lighten up enough for me to start blogging again. I'm so thankful for that fact, as I see this blog as an enjoyable and relaxing way to talk about my favorite thing: food. Whenever I don't have time to write on here, my life seems a little less bright, so I'm always thankful for the breaks in schoolwork and studying that allow me a chance to put up a post again.


All that aside, I want to recommend this delicious protein powder to you today! Frankly, I'm not the biggest smoothie drinker in the winter months, specifically because I hate to drink anything cold when I'm already cold (either because of the weather outside or just the fact that I'm naturally cold all the time). When it gets warm outside, though, I tend to look towards smoothies as a regular snack or meal option. And since we've started having a wonderful heat wave here in Seattle (see? it DOESN'T rain all the time here, haters!), I've been enjoying smoothies quite often.

What I love about this protein powder is not only the flavor, but the amount of nutrients that are in every scoop-full. Per scoop, you get:
  • only 150 calories 
  • 20 grams of plant-based protein
  • 1.5 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids
  • 1 billion cfu (colony-forming units) of probiotics
  • 26% of your daily recommended fiber intake
  • ...and so much more!
The ingredients are simple, easy to pronounce and recognize, and, when added to a smoothie, the powder adds a delicious (but NOT overpowering) vanilla flavor. In playing around with smoothie creations recently, I've actually discovered that I prefer only using half the scoop at a time, because of the stevia aftertaste, but for those of you that don't mind it, I highly recommend using an entire scoop to get all the vitamins and nutrients intended for each serving.

I created the following green smoothie with this powder, and I have to say, it was pretty perfect. I made enough for one serving, but if you are particularly hungry or want to share, double this recipe to make even more!

Enjoy!

Strawberry Green Smoothie with Vega One Protein Powder
Vegan, Soy-free, Gluten-free, High-protein
Serves 1

Ingredients:
1/4 c. fresh strawberries (quartered)
1/4 c. canned (crushed) pineapple; include juice
1 c. kale - ripped off stem into small pieces - about 1 leaf
1/4 c. plain yogurt (I used So Delicious Coconut Plain Greek Yogurt)
1/2 c. coconut water (I used C2O coconut water with pulp)
1 scoop Vega One Protein Powder (French Vanilla flavor)

Prepare:
  1. Put ingredients into blender in the order listed above. 
  2. Cover and blend for about 10 seconds, then stir ingredients around, making sure to scrap off sides of glass. 
  3. Blend until mixed and desired consistency. 
  4. Scrap sides once more, blend for another 10 seconds, then pour into glass and enjoy.

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary sample of this protein powder from Vega; however, all pictures, thoughts, and recipes are my own. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lettuce Wraps


It's been so warm in Seattle lately (and I am NOT complaining, although it is a bit distracting to have such beautiful weather when I'm at the end of the term and trying to study for lots of finals) that I haven't really wanted to cook anything on the stove or in the oven. However, I came up with this idea the other day of having a salad...in my hand! This is a genius idea that I really haven't explored as much as I should have, but you can bet I'll be returning to it again soon. Our garden has produced some amazingly large pieces of lettuce, so I used those pieces to create these salad gems. I didn't need any condiments because the ingredients were flavorful enough on their own.

Lettuce Wraps
Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free
Serves 1

Ingredients:
3 large pieces of lettuce
1 medium tomato, sliced
1/4 medium avocado, sliced into 6 pieces
1 t. olive oil
3 asparagus spears, cut into thirds
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into many slices

Other possible add-ins:
-vegan cheese
-salt and pepper
-other vegetables
-condiments

Prepare:

  1. Wash and pat dry lettuce leaves. 
  2. Put tomato and avocado on pieces. 
  3. Heat olive oil in pan on medium to medium-high heat. Sauté asparagus and pepper in olive oil until soft.
  4. Place sautéed vegetables on top of other ingredients and eat. [I tried to wrap mine, and failed, so I just held them in my hand like tacos!]





Friday, June 5, 2015

NaBloPoMo: The Last Week of May

For the month of May, I've decided to participate in BlogHer's National Photography Month and NaBloPoMo mashup. It's a slightly easier way to blog every day, as I can upload pictures that go along with the daily themes far faster than I can think up daily recipes or food-related posts. Some of the themes are a bit abstract (e.g., "your feelings", "your energy", "drama", and "vintage", just to name a few), which makes capturing them a bit more challenging, but so far I've been having fun and it's been fueling my creativity in a way that I haven't felt in a while.

I'm posting my pictures first on Instagram, then uploading them here. Enjoy!

I skipped a few days in the middle and again at the end because, life. But here are days 16, 26, 27, and 29:

Day 16: Filter Me This.



Day 26: Still Life. 

A photo posted by Geanna (@geanna.noel) on

Day 27: Portrait.


A photo posted by Geanna (@geanna.noel) on
Day 29: Food.



Did you post during #NaBloPoMo? If so, please leave a comment with your post urls in the comments section! I'd love to see your pictures!

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