Under the Weather and Over the Weather

I’m going to make this as short and sweet as possible because I am not feeling well…at all. EDIT-I planned on making it short, but it turned out very long. OOPS. I am a little under the weather, and to be perfectly honest, I am over the weather here in DC. Rain for the past 4 days is just not my thing. Oh how I long for my LA days. (sometimes).

Yesterday I made my very first breakfast cookie a la Fitnessista. I made mine supercharged with lots of superfoods.

This baby had it all:

  • 1/3 C Quaker Oats
  • 1 Tbs Raw Almond Butter
  • 1 Tbs Vanilla Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder
  • 1/8 C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Goji’s
  • Mesquite
  • Cacao Nibs
  • Chia Seeds
  • Cinnamon

At first I was a little unfamiliar with the taste and wasn’t a big fan, but the taste really grew on me. Great for a quick breakfast. By lunch I was pretty hungry, and I couldn’t wait to try out this sushi making kit I picked up from Whole Foods. I had prepped everything for my lunch the night before while waiting to go pick Chris up from the airport. Check it out-

It came with the seaweed wraps, sticky rice, and soy sauce. I added cucumbers, carrots, avocado, and imitation crab meat. Not the easiest lunch to make at work, but it was kind of fun!

I also had a Kettle Cuisine Soup since my throat was killing me, and I needed something soothing. This flavor is soo good. Have you ever had Kettle Cuisine soups? If not-go find them!!!

They are all natural, gluten free soups made with REAL ingredients, and no fake stuff. They offer low fat, no dairy, and organic choices that all taste amazing, and I’m hooked. I’ve tried about 3 different flavors, and so far they have all be flavorful, and filling. They are frozen soups that take only a few minutes to heat up, but taste better than any other prepared/packaged soup I’ve tasted. I’m sure I’ll be consuming a lot of these in the next few weeks while I’ll be at home lounging on the couch after my surgery. Speaking of surgery-it’s in TWO days!!!! I can’t even sleep because I’m so nervous. I don’t do needles, I don’t do anesthesia, and I definitely don’t do surgery. I’m freaking out so to speak. TWO DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok-back to what I was saying…

Yesterday we did a tasting in the store with wine-maker Ken Wright of Ken Wright Cellars. He is a very well known wine-maker who makes some really BIG wines. It was a packed house, and I was so happy to see that our customers were as excited to meet him as I was. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures with him and me because I didn’t want to interrupt his tasting.

Dinner was a colorful one. KABOBS! I haven’t had these in ages, and I thought it was a great way to get fresh veggies in as well as being fun and delicious. I loved putting these together-oh the combinations.

Served with a side of tomato and basil salad and a small organic sweet potato. Oh, and some white wine since I didn’t have any red. OH WOW! So good, so very good.

My throat felt like it was on fire so of course I needed some ice cream to cool it down. Have you tried this kind? Chris was so nice to pick it up for me, and it was amazing!!!! This was my first time having coconut milk ice cream. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to the regular. The name says it all…PURELY DECADENT!

I was in bed by 9:45pm, fell asleep, woke up at 10:30pm, and couldn’t fall asleep until 1:30 or 2am. I ended up finishing Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, which I’ve been reading very slowly for the past few weeks. Such a great read, I think they should make everyone in America read that book. After going to bed so late, I woke up incredibly early because I don’t feel well, and my nerves are going crazy about this surgery on Thursday.

So with that said-I’m gonna go make myself a Chocolate Cherry Bomb Shake for breakfast, make it through the work day, and try to get to bed early tonight. But here are 2 things to look forward to…

1. I have an AMAZING Giveaway tomorrow (hint hint)
2. My blog is getting a makeover. I will be off from work and working from home for 2 weeks after my surgery, and I’m working on giving myself my blog a face-lift during that time.

Hope you all have an amazing Tuesday!!!!!

I Put the Shrimp in the Coconut

Hello Hello-

Hope you all had fantastic weekends! Mine has been a working weekend, and it’s been nothing but clouds and rain here in DC-YUCK!

The last time I left you I was making a delicious dinner. Actually delicious is an understatement. I was reading blogs one day (per usual) and came across Meghann’s coconut shrimp dinner that really got me salivating for some coconut shrimp. I have to say coconut shrimp is one of my all time favorite appetizers to order at a restaurant. That and fried calamari. I’m the epitome of health right? But it’s all about moderation. I actually have never made coconut shrimp before, and was a little worried, but they came out great!

First I toasted some organic coconut in the oven for a few minutes, and then added it to a mixture of whole wheat bread crumbs (that I made by toasting bread and processing them in the food processor) and almond flour. Then I dipped each little big shrimp in egg and then into the coconut mixture. I made sure ever nook and cranny was covered.

I also sipped on some awesome Malbec while I was cooking.

Side note-I was taking the eggs out of the carton, and one was actually so stuck in the carton it broke when I tried to pull it out. Thankfully I had some GLAD containers on hand to put the eggs in since the carton was filled with goo. Did you know all GLAD products were BPA free? I love knowing the plastics I am using are BPA free.

After laying the shrimpies out on a baking sheet, I baked them in the oven for 8 minutes on each side at 420*. They came out PERFECT.

I served them with some leftover quinoa and broccoli.

I love dipping my coconut shrimp in the sweet sauce they always serve at the restaurant, but I didn’t have any so I used a mango coconut sauce I found at Root’s, and it worked even better than I could have imagined. It added a little more coconut flavor, a little sweetness, and a little heat.

Chris and I treated ourselves later to an indulgent dessert. Brownie Sundaes! We heated up a French Meadow Bakery Gluten Free brownie and topped with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of organic chocolate syrup. YUM!

On Saturday we had our usual wine tasting at work, and we sold bread again. The bread is from Lyon Bakery and looks delicious. And for the second Saturday in a row, it sold like hot cakes. I mean with flavors like Rosemary, Walnut and Raisin, and Pumpernickel Raisin, how could you resist. And the rustic baguettes are like true French baguettes, and those are hard to find. Let’s just say I’ve eaten my fair share, no wait, more than my fair share of bread this weekend. All the cool kids are doing it. But in all honesty-it’s kind of scary how much bread I’ve eaten.

I’ve also been doing a lot of shopping. Non food related, but I made a dent in my wallet this weekend with the sales going on at the mall. WOW! All that shopping must have worked up an appetite. I’m just hoping for some nice weather now so I can wear all my nice clothes.

Today we did an Italian tasting at work, and it went really well too. We usually only do tastings on Friday’s and Saturdays, but we decided to do one on Sunday, and we learned that people love their Italian wine. What a great day for the store! For breakfast I had one ofAnne’s granola bars, a blueberry Chobani, strawberries, and a Starbucks coffee with a little sugar in the raw and half and half.

But ate it like this.

Kept me full for the big rush, and then I shoveled this in for lunch. I thought I had brought a soup, but turns out I left it at home so I munched on cheese, bread, leftover quinoa, and sugar snap peas.

I really need some veggies for dinner tonight..what do you think? Well I’m gonna go ponder that thought, and rest before I have to pick Chris up from the airport at 12:30am. I know…awful! My whole Project Rise and Shine is seriously not working. Have a great Sunday Night!

P.S. I’m writing this post while munching on toasted walnut raisin bread topped with MaraNatha Peanut Butter. Oh MY GAH! I just can’t get enough of this bread. CARB OVERLOAD!

Meal Planning & Another Winner!

This week I did a lot of meal planning, and it really helped me eat better and feel more prepared when it came to making dinner. I usually come home and just want to veg out in front of the TV with whatever I can find in the refrigerator and call it dinner. But this week I planned out my meals and made sure to have most of it ready by the time I came home, and it really worked! I ate better, saved money, and used up food I had in my apartment. I’m going to try to keep doing this as much as possible.

I took a few days off from blogging, and this is what you missed. I made fajitas the other night for Chris and me. Chicken for him, shrimp for me. These were some of the best fajitas I’ve made. We also used leftover rice from the salmon meal earlier in the week. I love using one nights leftovers in another meal. Look at this spread.

These were so so good. Fantastic really.

Breakfasts were also pretty good. I had toast with raw almond butter and pumpkin butter-my fave combo. This was the last of my pumpkin butter and I may or may not have shed a tear when it was through.😉

I also had a Chobani yogurt and Nutridel cookie. This was another *new to me* flavor of Chobani: Pomegranate. I love all the little pom arils mixed in. I crumbled up the pecan cookie in the yogurt for a little crunch and had some fresh strawberries on the side. This was such a filling brekafast. The last time I had Chobani and a nutridel cookie, I think I said the same thing. Whatever it is about this combination is filling for sure!

Lunches weren’t half bad either. I met Chris for lunch at Lebanese Taverna yesterday and ordered a plate of hummus, tabouleh salad, falafel, and moussaka with pita bread. I ate everything (well minus 3/4 of a falafel since it fell on the floor)-it was REALLY good. But I only I ate one of the breads.

Today I made a pizza on a 100 calorie whole wheat tortilla. Under all that gooey cheese was marinara sauce, lean ground turkey, broccoli, mushrooms, and fresh basil. It was awesome.

Last night we went to Chris’s parents house for dinner and had Thai food. I didn’t take any pictures, but I just had to show you dessert. His sister, who is 8 by the way, made this for all of us. I thought it was adorable!

I also received an awesome package from French Meadow Bakery. They sent me a bunch of their products from their gluten free line. I was so excited to get such a great package. There were cupcakes, cake, brownies, breads, and tortillas. Thank you so much French Meadow Bakery-you made my day! And of course I had to taste test the goods.

My favorite part of the cupcake was the icing. SOO good. And these brownies are to.die.for.

Now that you made it through all the eats, it’s time to announce the winner of the Funky Monkey Giveaway!!!!


Melissa is actually my cousin, and has been an avid reader since I first started blogging, so I am so happy she won this giveaway!!! Melissa-email me your addy and I’ll get your snacks to you ASAP!

Thanks everyone for participating!!! And don’t worry-there is another giveaway next week! WOOHOO!

Off to enjoy the rest of my night! See ya!

Oh my Goodness, Oh my Goodness

That is what I said after every meal I ate today. First I need to tell you that Project Rise and Shine was a complete fail on the first day. I was in bed at 10:30, but couldn’t fall asleep until 11, and when the alarm went off at 7:30am it just wasn’t happening. I woke up at NINE! Oh who am I kidding it was 9:17am. I know, it’s so late, but I really felt like I needed the sleep. It was the kind that you just can’t even open your eyes and before I knew it I was asleep again. But when I woke up at 9, I felt refreshed, re-energized, and great. I was even able to make myself breakfast, lunch, and start dinner, and make it to work on time. So I guess that is a start right?

My meals were all incredible today. First-this mess is what I call breakfast.

I loved the strawberry banana flavored Chobani, but didn’t have anymore so I made the flavor myself. This mess was a strawberry Chobani, 1 medium banana mashed in, 1tsp Maca, and some of this amazing stuff. I didn’t really like the texture of the yogurt with the Maca powder so I added the melted peanut butter, and it was the best decision I have ever made. I devoured this like it was no ones business.

Lunch was leftovers from dinner made into a big salad. We all know how I felt about last nights dinner, so this was right up there with it. I put the shrimp and rice on top of the lettuce and cukes and ate it outside soaking up some Vitamin D. It was down right gorgeous out today!!!

After hearing all this buzz about the cherry chocolate bomb smoothie all over the blogs I was really in the mood for one, but had no way of making one. I stopped by Sweetleaf and grabbed a smoothie made with non fat fro yo, strawberries, and chocolate chips. It was the next best thing.

And tonight’s dinner was chicken stuffed with feta and cranberry chutney and my beloved Quinoa with roasted broccoli and butternut squash. I also added some dried currants for some contrast. It was…how do I say it? PERFECTION.

Three of my favorite foods ever are quinoa, butternut squash, and broccoli so I could not go wrong with this one.

And of course I’ve been eating tons of chocolate goji bars lately. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to make these because they are so addicting and so good. I eat one two after lunch AND dinner. Oh chocolate and goji you are the bane of my existence.

Don’t forget to enter the Funky Monkey Giveaway!!! You have until Thursday at 5pm to enter!!!!

Also-check out my interview on Vee Chats. This was my first time doing anything like this so it’s pretty exciting.


A Funky Giveaway and a Project

Well, I hope you didn’t have a case of the Monday’s as much as I did! I stayed up WAY too late watching the Oscars and just felt like I was dragging all…day…long. What about those Oscars? I was bummed my girl Meryl didn’t win, but I know Sandra Bullock deserved it.

Anyways-I woke up and made a smoothie from Living Raw Food, which you can now find in my *NEW* Amazon store. I love this book for many reasons. Not only does it have great recipes, but there is so much information about eating raw and why it is so good for you.

My smoothie was a variation of Nicks No 1 Shake. It had:

  • Hemp Milk -that I made from hemps seeds and water in the blender
  • 2 Tbs raw coconut flesh
  • 2 Tbs raw cacao nibs
  • 3/4 C frozen blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • squirt of Agave

It was…excellent. And filling. But the cacao nibs did not give me as much energy as I had hoped.

Lunch was literally the same as yesterday so instead of showing you that, I will tell you about my new project. Project Rise and Shine!!! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know by now, I am NOT a morning person. In no way, shape, or form do I like waking up in the morning. What can I say-I love my sleep! And on top of that I usually don’t have to be into work until 11am, so given that, I ALWAYS want to sleep in as late as possible. However, I’m always running late, I never feel prepared, and I’m always running behind schedule. I hate feeling that way. And now with spring right around the corner, and the sun shining every morning, I feel like this is the perfect opportunity to start getting up earlier to get more done in the morning before I go to work. But the main key, however, is to go to bed early! So my goal for Project Rise and Shine is to be IN BED LIGHTS OUT by 10:30pm and no later. I’m a sucker for late night TV, and get carried away watching Chelsea Lately and E! News until 12am, but that needs to stop because I’m tired of feeling tired. I am hoping going to sleep earlier will help me wake up earlier. So tonight starts Project Rise and Shine, and I will be letting you know how it goes through out the week. If you are anything like me, or just want to go to bed earlier, feel free to participate in Project Rise and Shine with me and let me know how it goes.

Dinner was epic. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this meal ever since I saw it on Gina’s blog. I love shrimp salad so I wanted to give this a whirl. Epic I tell you..Epic.

I served my shrimp salad on butter lettuce wraps with some leftover rice from last night and avocados and raw broccoli on the side. The avocados were a perfect addition to the wraps if I do say so myself.

The shrimp salad recipe was taken from the lovely Ina Garten, but I followed Gina’s *healthier* version by using canola mayo instead of regular.

You can see the original recipe here.

Best. Shrimp Salad. EVER! Oh my gosh, it exploded with flavor and was soooo good. Words just don’t even describe.

And now it’s time to bring on the GIVEAWAY!!!!! Have you guys ever tried Funky Monkey Snacks? I was introduced to this cool snack back at the Health and Nutrition Showcase, and it was one of the products that really stuck out to me. Funky Monkey is simply freeze dried fruit. Simply and literally…freeze dried fruit! No added sugars, no preservatives, nothing but fruit.

I was really surprised at how great it tasted. The flavors are endless including Applemon, Bananamon, Carnaval Mix, JiveALime, ManjoOJ, Pink Pineapple, and Purple Funk. The Bananmon, JiveALime, and Purple Funk are 100% organic. The Pink Pineapple is 95% organic, and the Carnaval Mix is 70% organic. The freeze dried fruit is really crunchy and sweet, great for dessert or a snack, and way better than dried fruit in my opinion. The snacks come in 2 sizes; 1oz and .42oz. The 1oz has 3 servings of fruit, and the .42 oz has 1 serving of fruit. My favorite so far is the Carnaval Mix and Pink Pineapple. Sometimes dried fruit can be pretty high in calories, but an entire 1oz package (which is way more than enough for a snack) has only 90 calories and 3 servings of fruit. I love that!

Now it’s your chance to win some!!! The awesome people over at Funky Monkey have offered to give one Eat, Drink, and Be Hopeful reader a variety pack of all their flavors of Funky Monkey.

I’m telling you-you are going to love this stuff! As usual you have 4 ways to enter.

1. Go to the Funky Monkey website (www.funkymonkeysnacks.com) and leave me a comment letting me know what Funky Monkey flavor you would most like to try.
2. Mention this giveaway on your blog and link it back to mine. Then comment letting me know that you did so. If you don’t have a blog leave a comment letting me know.
3. Tweet “@LaurenEDBH is giving away Funky Monkey snacks! http://wp.me/pAJNI-1sQ″ Then comment again letting me know.
4. Subscribe to Eat, Drink, and Be Hopeful. Then comment again letting me know.

I will be picking a winner on Thursday at 5pm EST. Again-sorry to any International readers-this giveaway is for US residents only.

Don’t forget to follow Funky Monkey on Twitter and on Facebook!!!

Good Luck and have a fantastic Monday night!!!!

Oscar Night Dinner

It’s OSCAR NIGHT! I get so excited for this night, and other award nights, but I think I like to see the red carpet more than anything else. Of course I love to find out who wins, but I love watching the red carpet pre-award show.

Yesterday I was watching one of my favorite cooking shows, 5 Ingredient Fix, and I came up with a brilliant idea for my dinner tonight. My dinner was very similar to the recipes made on the show, with a few tweaks of course.

But before I get to all that, I want to show you some eats this weekend. We finally went grocery shopping yesterday! We HAVE FOOD!

I made healthy sloppy joes with lean ground turkey on Arnold Thins with a side of spinach and Mann’s sweet potato fries before heading to see Alice in Wonderland last night. Great movie! Go see it!

I brought a Chocolate Metromint water for the movies. I’m obsessed with this water. You don’t even understand. It’s like dessert in a bottle. YUM!

I also made Anne’s granola bars last night, but substituted almonds and hazelnuts for pumpkin and sunflower seeds. I just chopped them up a bit in my magic bullet and added them to the Dry ingredients. The bars came out great, and tasted fantastic! Anne-you really know what you are doing over there!

After wrapping them all up in aluminum foil, I had some extra crumbs that I put aside to add to my yogurt this morning.

I topped a *new flavor to me* strawberry and banana Chobani with my leftover granola bar crumbles. It was wonderful.

I also packed my lunch for work today in my awesome little lunchbox. I packed a sloppy joe, celery sticks, and an apple. It made me think of my grade school days.

My sloppy joes were not the original kind because we didn’t have any bbq sauce, so I made them with marinara instead. I added some fresh basil and spinach to mine today, which made them just that much better. With a side of crunchy celery of course.

We are starting to sell fresh bread in the store, on Friday’s and Saturday’s as part of our wine tasting, from a place called Lyon Bakery. Good thing those are the two days I’m off because I would devour my weight in fresh crusty bread. It looks like the bread did well because when I came in today there were only a few little pieces left from the tasting. Of course I tried some.

Alright-now to my favorite part-the Oscar Dinner. For some reason Chris was really excited to watch the Oscars this year so I wanted to make a special dinner for us. Based on the recipes from 5 Ingredient Fix, I made Asian Style Salmon with Ginger and Lemongrass infused edamame rice. How could you go wrong with that?

I baked the salmon on top of a bed of sliced ginger and lime slices and soaked it in unfiltered sake. I chose unfiltered because it is sweeter and creamier than filtered sake. I baked the salmon covered at 400 degrees until it looked done. I kind of eye ball fish because I never know how long to keep it in the oven.

The rice was so incredibly easy. I boiled a big pot of water and threw in large pieces of ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Lemongrass won’t taste like anything unless you beat it up a little so you just need to smash it with the back of a knife and bang on it to let out all the essential oils.

Once the water is to a boil, let it cook for a few more minutes to infuse the water with the flavors.

Then add in the rice and cook through(I used brown jasmin rice). At the very last minute add the frozen edamame. Once the rice is finished just drain it in a colander, take out the chunks of garlic, ginger, and lemongrass, and Voila!

I served my salmon and rice with some asparagus, and I used the leftover sake to make a sake-tini shaken with fresh lemon and lime juice. It was one award winning dinner. Chris gave it a 9 on a scale from 1 to 10, and he doesn’t lie. DELICIOUS!

I’m going to finish the night off with the Oscars. Hope you all have a fabulous Sunday Night!!!

I’m on a roll with creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I have to tell you…as much as blogging can be stressful, and time consuming, it has really opened my eyes to so many new and exciting things. Every time I think of an old favorite of mine, I try to change it into a healthier recipe. I get so many ideas from the blog world, and now I’m always trying to re-create things for myself. For instance, I LOVE spinach and artichoke dip, but there aint nothin’ healthy about that. So I was putsin’ around in the kitchen the other day and put together this healthier version. I couldn’t believe how incredible it came out, and how similar it tasted to the original thing.

I started with frozen spinach, frozen artichokes, and plain flavored Chobani Greek yogurt.

I microwaved about 1 Cup spinach and 3/4 C artichokes until they were thawed and warm. Then, I added the Greek yogurt and stirred in nutritional yeast (in replace of cheese), garlic salt, onion powder, sea salt, and pepper to taste.

Once everything was mixed up I transfered it into a baking dish and added a little more nutritional yeast on top.

Popped it in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, and it was ready to serve.

Stunning…right? I served with 100 calorie whole wheat tortillas, and a little tomato sauce for dipping as well. This artichoke dip is actually healthy, and tastes very similar to the real thing. I think I found a new favorite snack.

I have an Oscar worthy dinner planned for tomorrow, but I have to run to the grocery store for some ingredients. I feel like I’m on a roll with my Cho-yo and Chocolate goji bars yesterday, my spinach and artichoke dip today, and now a dinner fit for the Oscars tomorrow. I also plan on making Anne’s granola bars later today so I have my work cut out for me. Have a great Saturday!