Welcome to a week of eats with yours truly! Before we dive in, a disclaimer: I fully recognize my life is likely very different from yours. I don’t have children that require childcare and homeschooling. My husband and I both have the flexibility to work from home currently. I know this isn’t the case for everyone. So, if any part of this diary doesn’t jive with you, I hear you. And if part of it does, know we’re all in this together, and we’re just trying to do our best. Another note….there is no such thing as a perfect eater. Just because I eat in a particular way, doesn’t mean you should do the same. We are all so unique and like/need different things. I value sharing what I eat because I think it tells a story; how food and movement fit into my day. I love hearing your story too.
On Monday morning, I wake up around 4 am. I am genuinely SO excited to wake up and drink coffee. I make almond milk as the water boils for my French press and allow myself space and time to sink into the day. Before I open my computer, I write down three things that went well the day before (“What Went Well”), a concept I learned from Martin Seligman’s book, Flourish. I also write what I’m grateful for, which has helped during this tumultuous time.
I typically feel hungry about three hours after I wake up. Today, I eat my favorite oat-based waffle. I add yogurt, freeze dried berries, nut butter, and cinnamon to top it off. After breakfast, I make the trek to Trader Joe’s. It’s pumpkin season baby! I’ve been waiting all year for this. I purchase some canned pumpkin for our dog (she’s as obsessed as I am), pumpkin spice, and my favorite vanilla pumpkin candles. This scent is so nostalgic for me (and Viveca too). When I get home, I jump on my Peloton. This was something I had been hemming and hawing about for nearly two years, and when shelter-in-place was announced, I knew I needed an alternative workout for my usual Pilates classes. I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I’ve ever purchased! I complete two 30-minute rides. I try to shoot for 45 minutes per day, but if I have more time, I may ride longer (if my body feels up to it of course). After my ride, I allocate one hour for my weekly “nourishment plan.” I make a big batch of quinoa, roast Brussels sprouts with purple sweet potatoes, make my kale salad, pickle a red onion, and boil six eggs. This will serve a few dinners this week, in addition to all of my lunches. Around 12:30, I eat some of the kale salad, topped with my favorite ready-made quinoa salad (from La Cascada), pickled onions, hummus, tahini sauce, and Frank’s RedHot. I have a hair appointment (finally) which takes up the afternoon, but the air quality has thankfully improved, so I’m able to walk home from the appointment. For dinner, we make Mediterranean bowls, with a base of quinoa, Brussels, and sweet potatoes. We top with a hard boiled egg, pickled onions, tahini sauce, Frank’s, and Everything But the Bagel seasoning. Post-dinner, I make some “cookies,” which are essentially blobs of peanut butter, flaxseed meal, banana, chocolate chips, pumpkin spice, salt, and baking soda. I watch my favorite show, The West Wing, and wind down.
Wake up at 4:30, drink coffee and almond milk, and prep for the day’s appointments. On Tuesdays, I like riding my bike prior to starting my work day. When I do this, I notice improved energy and mood throughout the day. Today, I complete a tough 45-minute HIIT and hills ride, but I got a new personal record! I wouldn’t consider myself a very competitive person, but the bike has made me super motivated to beat my own numbers. I love that I can see my mom is riding her bike at the same time too.
I have a break between appointments around 7:30, and have my breakfast of overnight oats, chia pudding, nut butter, berries, and flax seeds. Snacks between appointments include dried mango and frozen grapes. Around 1:15, I break for lunch and have kale salad, topped with La Cascada quinoa salad, a hard boiled egg, and tahini sauce. Now that air quality has improved, I’m back to eating my meals outside on our patio. For me, this ritual makes the meal feel like sacred time, and I’m able to savor the experience more. After lunch, I take our dog out for a 40-minute walk (while listening to my favorite West Wing podcast), and then wrap up the work day when I get home. Tonight, we are celebrating our niece’s birthday, so we head to their house around five for a distanced dinner al fresco. They have ordered Flour & Water Pizzeria, which is one of my favorites. I have one piece of the burrata pie, one piece of jalapeño and mushroom, some Caesar salad, some burrata salad, and two glasses of wine. I have a few bites of birthday cake too, but I’m saving room for one of my banana treats when I get home.
Another early start today (4:30). I have my usual French press coffee with almond milk and start preparing for appointments. On Wednesdays, I like to bookend my work day by breaking up my Peloton rides. I know the lack of boundaries between work and home has been challenging for people during quarantine, and this has helped me a lot. This morning, I complete a 30-minute ride with my favorite instructor, Cody Rigsby. Such fun vibes to start the day! Around 7:30, I have a break between appointments and I eat the same breakfast I had yesterday: overnight oatmeal with chia pudding, nut butter, flax seeds, and freeze dried berries. Later in the morning, I have a 30-minute break so I can take out my pup. We walk to get coffee in the neighborhood, one of my favorite quaran-tivities. It’s truly the little things right now that bring me the most joy. Throughout the morning, I have a few snacks (some dried mango, a hemp and date ball I made last week) to tide me over until I can have lunch around 1:15. Lunch is the same as yesterday: kale salad topped with the last of the quinoa salad, pickled onions, a hard boiled egg, and tahini sauce. Complete some computer work, and have one of my cookies around 3 pm as I finish the last of the iced coffee. I take Remy out on a longer walk and feel so grateful for the fresh air we have. When I get home, I get back on the Peloton for another 30-minute ride. My legs are not happy with me after our long walk, but I’m proud I completed it. After the ride, I throw together a bunch of leftovers for my husband and I. We use leftover quinoa, roasted Brussels sprouts and purple sweet potatoes, fry an egg, and I make a quick sauce with yellow miso paste, rice vinegar, and chili flakes. With the increased flexibility of working from home, we’ve been eating dinner on the early side which gives us more time to decompress after the day. For dessert, I have a frozen “brownie” I made a few weeks ago, and surprise (!), it’s made with peanut butter and flaxseed meal. I’m all about treats with added fiber.
Wake up around 5:30 and spend my morning drinking coffee and preparing for the day/catching up on work. I’ve committed to a live Peloton ride at 8:30 with my friend, which is equal parts hilarious and inspiring. After the ride, I’m feeling pretty hungry so I make my favorite pumpkin spice waffle, topped with Greek yogurt, nut butter, some crunchy almonds, balsamic vinegar, and Maldon salt. Remy is due for a long walk today, so I take her out for an hour and catch up with a friend on the phone. When I get home, my husband has picked up Philz for us. Major score! We got into a very caffeinated habit of picking up coffee daily during quarantine, which certainly helped our productivity, but not our sleep….so we’re trying to dial it back. I work for a bit, drink my coffee, and eat a hemp ball as I’ll be getting on the bike again. Just like I break up my rides on Wednesday, I like doing two short rides on Thursday, as I don’t start with appointments until the afternoon. It gives me the flexibility to do them when it makes sense for the day, and lends more structure to the morning. I do a 20-minute HIIT ride, then a 10-minute arm workout. Afterwards, I wrap up things on my computer, get ready for my appointments, and eat lunch outside around 1:15. I have the last of my kale salad, leftover Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, the last hard boiled egg, pickled onions, and tahini sauce. An hour later, I have a few squares of my favorite chocolate bar. It’s a long stretch until I have time to eat my dinner, so I have some dried mango as a snack. I’m done with appointments by 7:15 and can eat my dinner. My husband ordered Sweetgreen earlier in the day, and I saved mine for dinner. Recently I’ve been loving the garden Cobb salad, but I sub the pesto dressing for the vinaigrette. Of course Frank’s is a must too. In May of this year, I made the declaration (though really a gradual decision) to be vegetarian. It was mostly rooted in compassion for animals, in addition to reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I won’t go so far to say this decision will be life-long. Because if I really want a piece of pepperoni pizza, or my favorite chicken salad from Souvla, I’m going to have those things. So far, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything, and I’m enjoying the process. After dinner, I have one of my banana cookies and call it a day.
The aforementioned famous waffle:
Friday morning, I prepare a fresh batch of almond milk and wait for my water to boil (literally). My usual water consumption is super low, so I’m trying to get into the habit of drinking 19-ounces prior to drinking any coffee. I recently finished Atomic Habits by James Clear, and it reshaped how I view behavior change. To increase my water intake, I leave my water bottle on the counter (increased visibility), and make sure I have cold water in the filter the night before (accessibility). This way I can gulp down a bottle first thing in the morning. Work on my computer for a few hours, then start to feel hungry around 8:15. I was going to make a pumpkin waffle again, but I decide to get super crazy and make pancakes instead. I use the same mix as the waffle, but make two pancakes I can stack. While preparing these, I realize why I don’t make pancakes anymore…..the flip really stresses me out. Regardless, I layer some applesauce between the two cakes, then add Greek yogurt, nut butter, pumpkin spice, and Maldon salt for a chef’s kiss finish. After breakfast, I take Remy out for about an hour. We run some errands in the neighborhood and I grab an Americano. When I get home, I eat a hemp ball, wrap up computer work, then get on my Peloton for a 45-minute EDM ride. Get ready for a long day of appointments, and eat lunch outside before I start. I’m out of my usual kale salad, so I check my freezer inventory. I have some leftover chickpea stew I made last month, so I heat this up with some pickled onions, labne, and Everything But the Bagel seasoning. To close out lunch, I have two triangles of my favorite chocolate from Trader Joe’s. Appointments are back-to-back today, but I have 10 minutes to have some dried mango around 4:45. Once the clock strikes six, we transition to our Friday ritual. Since Souvla reopened in the city, we’ve been ordering every Friday night. I get the vegetable salad, Greek style (fries on top), and we open a bottle of wine. I save half my salad for lunch tomorrow, and have a glass and a half of wine. We watch My Octopus Teacher on Netflix (so good), and I have a generous bite of his Greek yogurt and baklava dessert. We typically share this treat, but I am wanting one of my cookies instead.
Pumpkin spice pancakes:
We made it to the weekend! I sleep in until 5:45, then start my usual morning rituals (water, coffee, gratitudes). We don’t have plans today other than spending as much time outdoors as possible as the air quality is still in the green. Around 8:15, I make myself a pumpkin spice waffle (I’m not messing with pancakes again), and enjoy this outside. After breakfast, we take Remy out to her favorite park and pick up cold brew coffees on the way. When we get home, I jump on the Peloton, as both my mom and a dear friend are completing the same 45-minute live DJ ride. I love the sense of community the Peloton fosters, even though we’re not in the same physical space. I was planning on completing another 15-minute ride, but my lower back is talking to me. I pinched a nerve last year, and it hasn’t felt the same since. Post-ride, I read my murder mystery outdoors until I feel hungry for lunch. I have thawed out some garbanzo beans I made a while back, and will have that as a side to my leftover Souvla salad. I’m ready for a sweet thing around 2:00, so I eat my last brownie. This afternoon we’re going to my brother-in-law’s house to hang with our nieces, and have planned an epic snack plate. I want to contribute some kind of dip, so I consult my saved recipes and land on Alison Roman’s turmeric and sesame spread, as I have the majority of the ingredients. We nosh on cheese, crackers, crudite, fruit, some spreads, and I have one White Claw. Contrary to the buzz around these beverages, I’m really not a fan. They taste too artificial to me. When we get home around 7:30, I don’t feel hungry for dinner, but I want something sweet. My husband bought a cookie from our favorite bakery earlier in the day, so we break it into fourths to enjoy it tomorrow too. I have some cookie and a few chocolate squares and call it a day.
Wake up around 5:45 and start my morning routine. Around 8:15, I’m in the mood for a fall-inspired breakfast. I mix some Greek yogurt with chia seeds, applesauce, and pumpkin spice to serve as a base for homemade granola, nut butter, and finely chopped apples, topped off with a few raisins, more pumpkin spice, and Maldon salt. We’re headed to the farmer’s market today, and try to get this done on the early side to avoid crowds (especially during the pandemic). We bring Remy and my husband picks up coffee while I shop. I don’t drink lattes frequently, but I do enjoy them on a glorious day like today. The weather is perfect and you can really feel the seasonal transition. I get an iced almond milk latte and we head home to organize the loot. While unpacking, I eat two figs that are on the verge of getting mushy and have a few grapes. I also prepare my kale salad so it’s ready to go when we get home from a beach excursion.
Post-beach adventure with our nieces, I have lunch outside around 12:30. Inspired by our snacks the night before, I make a plate of turmeric dip, crackers, Gouda cheese, and grapes to have with my kale salad. I love nothing more than a fun cheese plate because it makes me feel like I’m on vacation. My husband and I share the other half of our cookie, and I read outside for a bit. Jump on my Peloton for a 30-minute ride, followed by a 20-minute ride (a PR!) and I’m grateful my back isn’t bothering me today. Tonight, I’m making a bean-based chili from New York Times Cooking and cornbread, something I’ve never made from scratch before. Major success, and the chili comes together in 20 minutes. Watch the (virtual) Emmy’s, eat a banana cookie, and get ready for a fresh week.
Lunch salad + snacks:
Thank you for following along with me this week!