WIAW: Taste Evolves (+ Chocolate PB Banana Protein Smoothie)

Hey-lo! (Hybrid of hey + hello. I’m trying to mix it up, ok?)

I think one of my favorite parts about blogging is participating in Jenn’s ingenious What I Ate Wednesday party. I used to spend who-knows-how-many hours clicking on every link in the WIAW linkup to see what everyone was noshing on. That’s how I found so many of the blogs that I still love reading today! So without further ado, here’s what I ate yesterday:

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Breakfast

If you saw my post about waffles and pancakes yesterday, you already know what I ate for breakfast, but here it is again in all its deliciousness:

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Shortstacks Oatmeal Raisin Cookie waffle and pancake topped with plain Greek yogurt, vanilla sunbutter, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Glass o’ milk on the side.

Workout Snacks

I had an unpictured banana before my workout, and then some bites of each of these mid-circuit:

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Some cashews and a cinnamon brown sugar BelVita biscuit

I keep these in my gym bag in case I start to slump and need a boost of energy. I’ve definitely had instances in which I feel depleted and start flailing dumbbells instead of lifting them, if ya know what I mean. Therefore, I take snacks everywhere like I’m 5 years old. You can ask any of my friends–I’m ALWAYS snacking during school, dance, whenever. I’ve learned to deal with the stares 😉

Lunch

Looked the same as all my other lunches…

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Chicken, avocado, spinach sandwich with some more of my creamy sriracha dip

The other day, my mom was surprised at how I’ve recently been adding a considerable amount of sriracha hot sauce to many of my meals. I’ve always liked a wee bit o’ spice, but I never liked anything too spicy because then I would complain that it overpowers the flavor of my food. I think I also just didn’t like the taste of sriracha. My parents and brother would say, “You don’t know what you’re missing!” and I would reply “Hahahaha have fun burning your tongues!” Can someone say catty?? Well now they get to say “I told you so.” *Kicking myself in the butt*

Now it seems like something is missing if I don’t add a little bit of the unnaturally bright red sauce to my savory foods. My tastebuds have definitely evolved as I’ve gotten older. Here are some other things that I claimed I would never like (or didn’t think I liked) that I now love or at least eat quite often:

  • Wasabi–I would CRY if the tiniest particle of this stuff would get into my mouth (sorry to my friends and family who had to deal with my dramatic reaction). I hated the taste and the nasal spiciness of wasabi. I have no idea why or when I decided to try it with my sushi, but now I enjoy a nice dab of it on each piece. Never thought this day would come.
  • Raw carrots–I never used to like the earthy flavor. I still prefer them with hummus, but I often eat them by themselves now too.
  • Avocado— I KNOW. I have no explanation as to why I didn’t like it. What a shame.
  • Mustard–The taste always turned me off because it has that strong wasabi-like flavor. Now I love it in my burgers, especially the strong whole grain stuff!
  • Raw tomatoes–The thought of raw tomatoes used to make me gag. I’ve always been okay with cooked tomatoes, but now I even eat other peoples’ raw tomatoes if they don’t want them…Extra lycopene!
  • Watermelon–It’s still not my favorite fruit ever, but I do love the refreshing taste during summer. I used to never eat it.
  • Chocolate–Yep. I used to not like chocolate. I actually DID like it when I was a baby/toddler, but then something weird happened and I stopped liking it. It’s still not my sweet treat/flavor of choice, but I enjoy brownies, some chocolate candies (Reese’s to be exact), and occasionally chocolate cake and frosting. It really just depends on how I’m feeling.

There are probably a lot more, but those are just the ones that stand out in my mind right now. It’s fun to think about how much taste can change. I want to know how your tastebuds have changed too!

Snack

One of my favorites:

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Dried figs (I had another one after the picture was taken!) and plain Greek yogurt

I actually dip the dried figs in the yogurt and eat it that way. Does that sound weird? It’s like the figs sweeten the plain yogurt, and the yogurt adds protein and creaminess.

Dinner

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Some chips and our favorite salsa from Stop and Shop

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Salmon and salsa over spinach + corn on the cob (x2)

Colorful and flavorful! That corn was so swwwweet!

Late Night Snack 

You know how I love my late snacks!

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Chocolate peanut butter banana protein smoothie

This was AMAZING. Not overly-chocolatey 🙂 I didn’t want it to end! I don’t have an exact recipe since I sorta just threw a bunch of things into the blender, but to the best of my memory:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (or PB2 if you want it to be lighter)
  • 1/2 frozen medium-large banana
  • 1/2 scoop of chocolate protein powder
  • 2 heaping tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • (if you want an extra chocolate punch, I’m sure 1 tbsp of cocoa powder would do the trick!)

Definitely a nice way to end the night. Have a great Wednesday!

So tell me: What are some foods that you used to not like that you love now? Recent yummy eats? 

Sweat and De-Stress

Good afternoon!

I just finished a very tasty lunch, but I’ll save the pictures and description for WIAW tomorrow!

Moves

Before I dug into lunch, I was fortunate enough to get in a great workout at the gym. Ever since my sleepless night on Sunday, I’ve been having a little bit of anxiety and restlessness even during the day. I was thinking of trying to take a nap before lunch, but my heart was beating really fast, and it didn’t seem like I was going to be relaxing any time soon. So despite my mild sleepiness, I decided to take advantage of my racing heart and headed to the gym. I started with 20 minutes on the elliptical, during which my anxiety was still present, and it was sort of unpleasant to have an extra fast heart rate, but I tried not to think about it.

Then I hopped off and completed another one of Michelle’s intense workouts (You can get a better view of the exercises if you click on the picture):

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She doesn’t call it a challenge for nothing! I love workouts that incorporate both strength and cardio because it gets my heart rate up quickly and keeps things interesting. For this workout, I followed the weight suggestions for the most part, but I added/increased weights for some exercises and omitted/decreased weights for others. For instance, weighted leg lifts?? Humorous. I’m sure somebody was laughing at my attempt to do that. Leg lifts are hard enough for me as is!

And uh, I’m convinced Michelle is insanely hard core because I don’t know how I’m supposed to finish this twice through in 30 minutes. I barely took rests and I completed one round in almost 30 minutes!  Or you can just call me slow. Same with this workout of hers that I did a week ago–3 rounds would be death.

Anyway, I’m feeling quite a bit better after sweatin’ it out!

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This may not apply to everyone, every day, but it applied to my anxious self today!

I’m very thankful that God has given me the opportunity and ability to move and get some endorphins flowing. For anyone who struggles with insomnia or anxiety, or any moms and dads who are sleep deprived, I’ve been thinking about you these past few days. Not being able to sleep or relax is not fun at all. I’m praying for you! ❤

Have a nice rest of the day!

So tell me: Does exercise ever help you deal with stress or anxiety? What is your favorite type of exercise (strength, cardio, circuits, dance, etc.)?

Waffles or Pancakes?

Mornin’!

Yesterday ended up being very blah because I couldn’t even fall asleep for a good nap. Ah well. I had to fall asleep to the sound of the TV last night, and ended up getting more sleep. Here’s to the new day– praise God!

Dinner 

My mom makes some mean grilled salmon. It’s very common to ask for medium rare steak, but have you ever had medium-rare salmon? That’s just how we like it in our household, because the fish just melts in your mouth, and it basically transports you to a 5-star seafood restaurant. That fabulous. She cooks it on the indoor grill for about 1.5-3 minutes per side, or until you can see just a super thin line of darker, uncooked meat in the the center. Then she’ll grill the fish on its sides for about 30-60 seconds to finish it off. And voila–perfect salmon! We seasoned it with Bone Suckin’ sauce and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.

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See that slightly darker pink in the middle? That’s the money-shot (as Guy Fieri would say).

You know I had to have some of that for dinner last night!

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Wild/brown/black rice mix with salmon + spinach with hummus (random, but good!)

We discovered another package from Groupon (what can I say, my mom loves their deals) that was at our door, which contained this awesome thing:

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It’s a Waring waffle/pancake/omelet(!) maker! Breakfast just got a whole lot more efficient.

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Pancake/omelet iron on one side

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Waffle iron on the other

My mom and I wanted to test it out right away, so we decided on a little breakfast for dessert. We used yet another Groupon purchase as our mix (I promise they are NOT sponsoring this post. But we could definitely be there spokespeople):

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Shortstacks organic Oatmeal Raisin Cookie mix

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We both agreed that we like the waffles better because they got nice and crispy all over the edges. The pancakes still worked out well though! The batter itself wasn’t too sweet and didn’t really taste like an oatmeal raisin cookie at all. I’m sure a little maple syrup would have given it some more pizzazz, but I was just in the mood to have a few bites.

My mom bulked hers up with some chocolate protein powder though!

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Look at her bein’ all fancy!

The protein powder sweetened it nicely for her, and you could barely taste the chocolate after it was cooked. We can’t wait to use our new toy some more! We’ll be using the waffle side the most probably. The crispiness just can’t be beat! However, I feel like there’s something about the stackability of pancakes that’s also appealing. It’s hard to decide….

Breakfast

…So I had one of each this morning 😀

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Topped with plain Greek yogurt, vanilla sunbutter, and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup

This was so delicious!

I have yet another doc appointment today 😦 But then I have another meetup with a dance friend! And then hopefully a workout. Have a great day!

So tell me: Have you ever had medium-rare salmon? Waffles or pancakes and why? 🙂