Nutrition on My Mind

posted on: Thursday, January 16, 2014

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I've been thinking about biz cards because I have a couple of different events coming up (Fancy Food Show, Alt Conference, Techmunch. If you're going to any of these lets connect ok?!) and I need new cards. 

I saw these business cards online and read the backstory and was reminded, once again, that awesome things take an incredible amount of work, even something simple like designing business cards. Even something simple like eating a good salad every day.

Which leads me to the next thing that's on my mind, eating healthier. Where do I even start? Do I go vegan? Do I go paleo? Do I just take the time to make salads every day? Should I cut out all refined sugar? Does this mean I need to put my deep fryer away? Get this, these biz cards belong to a nutritionist who also happens to have a fab website with a lot of good information. Take her quiz and you'll see what I'm talking about. 

Health wise here's what I'm craving:
// More energy. I'm tired a lot. Aside from an occasional bad night, Eliza sleeps like a champ. She goes down at 7:00pm and wakes up at 7:00am. My one word for 2014 is rested and so far I'm doing a bad job, although with Christian's help we have been going to bed at 11:00 instead of midnight. Still, I feel pretty exhausted all day. It probably doesn't help that I have an office job where I'm sitting down all day. Would a stand up desk help? 
// Exercise. I am seriously thinking of hiring a health coach to help me out. I have started up ballet again and that feels wonderful, but it's only once a week and it means that one day out of the week I only see Eliza in the morning and I get less time with Enzo and Maria which I hate, hate, hate. I used to be into this app but I've fallen off the wagon and only do a couple of exercises a week instead of every day. 
// Bike. I'm pretty convinced that a bike would be great. I could bike to work easily and I think I would really enjoy it. But I'm pretty intimidated by the whole idea of buying a bike. Maybe it's because I live in the Bay Area where so many people bike and have fancy bikes, I just don't even know where to start on buying a bike. I don't need a fancy bike, just something reliable. Craigslist is proving to be overwhelming. 
// Cooking. Christian is so freakin' fabulous and also a great cook. But a lot of nights we're eating egg sandwiches or quesadillas because when he's home with the kids he has a billion things to do and his main focus is to keep the house clean. So I come home to happy kids and a clean house, which is so great but then we have to make dinner and by the time I come home everyone is starving. I think I need to start cooking at night after I put the kids down.
// Menu planning. I can't cook unless I plan a menu. I mean, I can but then we're back to quesadillas and egg sandwiches. I used to be great about meal planning but lately it's gone way down on my priority list.
// Better lunches. Enzo takes a lunch to school every day and I bring a lunch to the office almost every day. I really want to make better lunches for the both of us.
// Healthy snacks. I sit. I write. I snack. Repeat. This is my day from 9:00am to 5:00pm. If I'm stuck on an article I'll go to the office kitchen and grab a snack. If I'm updating Foodie's pinterest board I run to the kitchen and grab a snack. It's so nice to have snacks and breakfast at work but also so dangerous. I need to figure out a system where I'm snacking on healthy things and not just empty calories.
// More veggies. Hello, I live in California. I have these great produce store within walking distance from my house with fresh everything, even yucca! There is no excuse why we're not eating loads of veggies every day, except of course that darn time issue I seem to have.

I'm doing a juice cleanse with these guys after I come back from my trip in February and after the juice cleanse I plan on meal planning, cooking, and exercising. Sounds like a monumental task but maybe if I start organizing myself now, with a realistic menu, a weekly shopping list, and a darn bike, it could possibly happen. 

How do you keep your health goals? I need some serious advice!

How to Make Yogurt With or Without a Yogurt Maker

posted on: Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Making homemade yogurt is surprisingly simple, inexpensive, and healthy. Yogurt is great to eat plain, with honey, with your favorite fruit, granola, or other toppings or even for making sauces and dips. We are almost never without yogurt at home and once you can make it yourself, it is that much easier to stay stocked.

As everyone's level of lactose intolerance is different sometimes you don't know whether you can eat something that has dairy until you've tried it. One reason why I like making my own yogurt at home, aside from the fact that it's much cheaper, is because some store bought yogurts upset my stomach. It's interesting to see what different people who are lactose intolerant can eat. Most people I know who have lactose intolerance do eat yogurt. Some studies have shown that the probiotics in yogurt help with lactose digestion.

Although you can get very scientific about the whole process, I have found yogurt culture to be fairly forgiving and to grow quite well without too much of a fuss. While a thermometer and yogurt maker are both helpful, you can also pretty easily make yogurt without either. This recipe is designed to demystify yogurt making and I try to give several variations to suit the tools and ingredients you have at home. The basic process is to add yogurt to milk and let it sit in warm place for 8-12 hours.

4 Cups Milk (Whole, Low-fat or Fat-free)
Plain unflavored yogurt

  1. Bring the milk to a near boil. If you have a thermometer, heat the milk until 180 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, bring the milk until it starts to foam and form a skin on the top but is not boiling. (The purpose of this is to kill the organisms that you don't want to grow as you incubate it. It you use boxed milk that has been Ultra High Temperature Pasteurized you can even skip these first two steps).
  2. Bring the milk temperature down to between 90 and 120 degrees. You can do this in a cold water bath or by leaving it on the counter for 10 minutes. If you don't have a thermometer then simply wait until the milk is warm to the touch.
  3. Pour the milk into glass jars, large cups or even old yogurt containers.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of yogurt to the warm milk and blend it up. Then divide the warm milk and yogurt mixture into separate containers.
  5. Incubate the yogurt for 8-12 hours between 80 to 100 degrees. There are several ways to do this. You can place the containers in a cooler with very hot water and leave it undisturbed overnight.If you are using a tightly sealed container, like a glass mason jar, you can with hot water all the way to the top. If you are using a plastic yogurt container, or a container that does not have a tight sealed lid, then add hot water until it's halfway up to the top of the container. You don't want the water to leak into your yogurt containers. You can also get a yogurt maker which will maintain it at roughly the correct temperature for the required time.
  6. After the yogurt has settled (8-12 hours) take the yogurt out of the cooler or yogurt maker and place it in the fridge until you are ready to eat it.
  7. There will be a clear liquid whey that separates out from the yogurt which is normal.  If you want to make an even thicker yogurt, you can hang it in a cheese cloth in the fridge for a couple hours (place a bowl under it to catch the whey) and let the whey drip out, creating something between a greek yogurt and a very soft cheese texture.
Have you ever made yogurt before, if so how do you usually make it?

Midweek Slump

posted on: Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Yesterday I was so productive at work. I was dominating my TeuxDeux list. I went on a walk. I never ever ever go on a walk even though I work in front of the harbor and there's a beautiful trail.

Today my body is shutting down and exhausted. My one word for the year "rested" is proving to be harder than I had imagined. I'm still going to bed every night past midnight and I wake up early because the kids wake up early. I need an action plan to get myself in bed at a reasonable hour.

There are lots of things on my mind today, things I want to organize and put in order. Finances is one of them. Last year I started listening to the Dave Ramsey show and I got fired up. I went from trying not to spend too much to writing down every single thing we spent money on, from our new car to gum at the corner store. I have a spreadsheet on google doc where we keep our budget. It's one of the best things we did in 2013 and something I want to continue improving on for 2014. Also, another huge help was hiring a financial advisor. We have ours through LearnVest and she really helps us stay on track for bigger goals like retirement, paying off student loans, and saving for a house.

I read this post today from one of my favorite bloggers and designers and I really like Erin's view on work and money, it made me think even more about our finances.

With that said I wanted to share some things I've enjoyed reading today that's helped get me energized and through my work day.

// This new to me blog.
// Bedroom DIY ideas galore
// Hope this actually gets made one day
// Because I love boots
// Printed these and am framing them tonight!

What's been on your mind today?

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