Breakfast: After two experiments with unorthodox breakfasts deviating from my standard fruit-and-kale blend, I returned to my favorite morning meal, discovering the important lesson that nothing beats a kale smoothie. Today’s mix constituted 1 frozen banana, 3 large leaves lacinato kale, 1 large honeycrisp apple, 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp Raw Reserve Green Superfoods Powder, 1/2 cup Edensoy Extra soy milk, and 1 tbsp almond butter topped with 1 cup millet puffs, 4 dried apricots, and 2 dried figs.
With the start of the winter gymnastics competition season comes 2-hour daily practices complete with intense circuit training and conditioning. I also have to eat at 5:00, an hour earlier than usual, to arrive at practice on time at 6:00. Based on these two lovely gifts gymnastics hath bestowed upon me, I have to assure an adequate caloric intake to account for my hard-core nightly workouts but not feel too full after dinner to flip all over the place. Thus, I’ve bulked up my earlier two meals to allow for a lighter supper.
Breakfast Checklist: Protein—soy milk. Whole Grain—millet puffs. Fruit—banana, apple, dried apricots, dried figs. Leafy Green—kale. “Power Food”—chia seeds, green powder. Added Vegetable Bonus!—pumpkin.
Morning Tea: Equal Exchange Organic Vanilla Rooibos (probably my new favorite tea).
Lunch Box: Mixed greens (hidden under a mountain of salad fixings, but I swear they’re there!), cherry tomatoes, and carrots all tossed with Liquid Gold Dressing (in the red-capped container) and topped with sauerkraut, a mash of Black Japonica rice with tahini, and a sprinkle of hemp seeds.
I only began mashing tahini into rice earlier this week, but I may have to implement the delicious idea more often. Perhaps I have another culinary epiphany on my hands?
Meal Checklist: Protein—tahini, hemp seeds. Whole Grain—Black Japonica rice. Vegetables—cherry tomatoes, carrots. Leafy Green—mixed salad greens, sauerkraut (cabbage).
After-School Snack: A bottle of GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha in Strawberry Synergy flavor.
While I love the taste of GT’s, I don’t love his price tag. Thankfully, my newly grown Scoby will have fully developed by tomorrow so I can start brewing another batch of homemade Kombucha!
Dinner: This Sunday, I simmered up a pot of Chickpea Soup with Fennel and Orange Zest (you can find the tantalizing recipe online here) from one of my birthday gift cookbooks, The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook by Jack Bishop. I harbor a deep love for the hauntingly sweet flavor of fennel and chickpeas hold the esteemed title of my favorite legume, so naturally I found it necessary to immediately try my hand at this recipe. Even though the entire pot of soup calls for a mere teaspoon of orange zest, the citrus flavor brightens every spoonful and perfectly complements the subtle anise presence of the fennel. Both canned tomatoes and good-quality vegetable broth (Pacific Foods offers a wonderful low-sodium version) create a succulent broth while the chickpeas soak up every bit of its savory-sweet balance. Needless to say, I contented myself with leftovers for three magical nights of soup dinners, stirring in a large handful of spinach and serving it over a pile of amaranth to satisfy my whole grain and leafy green meal guidelines on this particular occasion.
Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpeas. Whole Grain—none. Vegetables—fennel, tomatoes, onions, garlic. Leafy Green—spinach.
Comment Provoking Questions: What are your favorite smoothie toppings? At which meal do you prefer to eat the most? How do you feel about sauerkraut? What’s your favorite legume?
Until next time, Ali.