A whole lotta woman needs a whole lot more!

For explanation of title, see video at end of post :)

New product! Well, for me, at least. These have been around for a while, but I just tried my first Odwalla bar!

I tried the Berries GoMega flavor. I don't think I've seen anybody blogging about it before, but the cutesy flavor name caught my eye, and I liked how they used all natural ingredients. The taste? I wasn't sure about it at first--tasted a little like a Nurti-Grain bar, but by the end, I think I liked it! I would definitely buy this again, and I would really like to try other flavors.

I also made a delicious sandwich yesterday on some Publix Bakery Multi-Grain bread. I am a little obsessed with this bread....it is so soft and fresh and has lots of little seeds in it.  I put some oven-roasted turkey, avocado, baby romaine, peppers, cucumbers, and hummus on the sandwich. (Also a side of baby carrots and hummus--not pictured).


Today's lunch was a Kashi Southwestern Style Chicken meal over baby greens with avocado:

I love Kashi meals...the avocado I added to this one makes it incredible!

You will notice on the side that I am in the process of updating my pictures. I've been feeling guilty about having the pictures I originally put up representing me because I was actually pretty underweight at the time. I have been paying more attention to taking care of my body, and I have (finally!) reached a healthy BMI after a year of trying to gain weight. For your info (and to remind myself) here is why I decided to gain weight:
  1. I felt hypocritical being a dietetics major and not maintaining a healthy weight and not giving my body proper nourishment.
  2. I was determined to do a triathlon. I had assumed that since I was a good runner that I was in good shape... but then I tried swimming and biking. Having a higher fat mass gives you buoyancy in the water and scrawny legs will not power you up hills on the bike!
  3. Curves are sexy. Not that I will ever truly be voluptuous (boyish figure genes...), but skin and bones is not a good look!
  4. I like shopping in grown up stores. When size 0 doesn't fit, it's really embarrassing.
  5.  I don't want to be given a kid's menu. Being really skinny makes you look a lot younger. I'll pass on the chicken fingers and sippy cup. I'll have scallops and Chardonnay. I am 21, not 12!
  6. I am a foodie!!! Eating delicious, exciting, fresh foods is fun! More good food = happy :)

The reactions I used to get from people when I was at my lowest weight were very interesting. People were either concerned about my health (once in a coffee shop, a homeless looking man told me I was "real skinny" and tried to buy me a muffin!!) or they tried to convince to go into modeling.  How messed up is that? Apparently, you have to look malnourished to be runway worthy!

So now, I introduce some more recent pictures of me on the side! New pic of me and my bike coming soon.

In the spirit of not striving to be stick skinny, here is a video from one of my favorite artists! If you have never heard of Mika before, you most definitely need to check this out:

Happy Friday everyone! I'm going up to Nashville this weekend to visit my sister at Vandy, so I won't be posting for a couple days....see you Monday!

Cookies and Local Food

As promised, here is the recipe from the cookie dough I was eating last night (they are delicious cooked also!).  I was inspired by this recipe: Maple-Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I added my own touches to it. Here is my version:

Crazy Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup 60% caoco chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup pecan
  • 1/4 cup toffee pieces
  • handful of unsweetened coconut (didn't measure, sorry)
I just mixed everything together and baked for 10 minutes at 350.

Great warm and dunked in a glass of milk! This is the only batch that actually got cooked. We just ate the rest of the dough raw, haha.

Now onto some exciting purchases I made today!

Earlier in the week, I ordered some items from athens.locallygrown.net where you can order fresh produce from local farmers!! I ordered some fresh eggs, rosemary, and Jerusalem artichokes. Pick up time was this afternoon. Check out what I got:

The eggs came in this cute, hand packed carton.

I was so excited that the eggs were multicolored! Looks like Easter!

The rest of the loot :)

Jerusalem artichokes are something I had never even heard of before, so of course I had to buy some! They look like little ginger roots. And the rosemary smells amazing! It was a very aromatic drive home!

Excited to try my new food, I immediately cut up some of the Jerusalem artichokes, tossed them with salt and olive oil, and threw them in the oven. This is my default way to cook veggies. 

Then I cracked open an egg right on to the pan, cooked it, and then ate it with some rosemary sprinkled on top! Wow. What a taste! If you get the opportunity to buy some fresh eggs, do it! I'm really going to enjoy these.

When my Jerusalem artichokes were cooked, I had no idea what they were supposed to taste like. I popped one in my mouth, and it actually tasted exactly like an artichoke! I think I prefer them to normal artichokes because they have a nice crunch, and they are much more efficient to eat since you don't have to scrape the good stuff off of a leaf!

Jerusalem artichokes. Don't look too pretty in the picture, but they were delicious!

Has anyone else try any new and exciting foods lately?

Will run for ice cream! (and wine)

I really pushed myself at run practice yesterday for triathlon club. We ran around some trails behind the intramural fields at about a 7 min/mile pace for 45 minutes... about 6 miles. I definitely never run this fast on my own, so I was very proud of myself. It was a very challenging run, but I felt incredible afterwards! I love endorphins :)

After my runner, I needed some delicious refueling! Dinner went much better then the baking disaster on Monday! My roommate and I made salmon, gnocchi, and sauteed spinach! I got this idea from a recipe card at Publix. They always have really quick and easy meal ideas. I used my frozen wild salmon filets I found at Wal-mart last week. Yup, Wal-mart. Who would have thought? Wild salmon actually has a lot more omega-3 fatty acids than farm raised; they are also usually darker in color and more flavorful. It is normally way more expensive to buy wild salmon...but not at Wal-mart! I was super excited!

Dinner: Marinara Salmon and Gnocchi with Butter Sauce and Sauteed Spinach

  • First, we put a 16 oz. package of gnocchi into a shallow, microwave-safe dish with 1 cup garlic flavored chicken broth, 1 tbsp butter, and paprika. We sealed it with plastic wrap and nuked it for 10 minutes. The broth and butter turned into a nice and creamy butter sauce :)
  • While that was cooking, we seared salmon filets on both sides, then covered them with spaghetti sauce (we used Classico Cabernet Marinara) and simmered until they were cooked.
  • We also sauteed some spinach in olive oil. It is always good to eat your greens with some healthy fat because it helps you absorb more of its nutrients! I love sauteed spinach, but I get a little sad when a heap of fresh spinach turns into a little blob. It's so tasty, but it seems like so much more food before you cook it!
  • This whole process took less than 20 minutes. The finished plate:

We sprinkled a little mozzarella cheese on everything :)

The wine selection. I love pinot noir.

We don't normally drink wine for weekday dinners.... but we also don't normally cook together and sit down for dinner on weekday, so I considered it a special occasion! 

We had some cookie dough in the fridge left over from some awesome cookies we made over the weekend! The cookies were good, but the dough was even better! The dough had no eggs in it, so for dessert we made coffee cookie dough ice cream!!

Breyer's coffee ice cream with cookie dough and whipped cream!

I had two servings of this. What an indulgent dinner. Thank goodness I like to run! I will share the cookie dough recipe with you next time I post.... it has lots of crazy good stuff in it, including maple syrup!

And for all you coffee drinkers, I discovered an NY Times article today that says coffee is good for your mental health. Yay! Drink up!

Baking Disaster + Yummy Desserts!

Last night I picked out this almond blondie triangle recipe to bring to my friend's cocktail and dessert party! I was very excited-- almonds + white chocolate...what could be better?? APRICOTS!! So my roommate and I added some dried apricots. The batter tasted amazing, and it had an almond crust. This is what it looked life before going into the oven:

Fluffy batter with toasted almonds and dried apricots :)

And then after:

What??!?! Top was burt crisp and inside was not cooked AT ALL! And we were late! I had no idea what we did wrong until I was looking over the recipe today....we left out 1 1/4 cups flour. Whoops. I feel dumb. I guess we were in a hurry!

I threw this plate together and ran off to the party:

Brie, cinnamon graham crackers, dried apricots, strawberries, and grapes

Here are some of the highlights from the party:

Chocolate covered strawberries!! These were my favorite!

Dark chocolate truffles in chocolate cups with orange peel. These were divine!

Fruit pizza...yum!

And of course there were cocktails. I had a pomegranate martini :)

So it was a good night, despite our baking mishap! I imagine that most food bloggers are more experienced cookers/bakers than me, but I would love to hear any of your cooking disasters!

Also, Every Gym's Nightmare is having a book giveaway, so check it out before Friday!

Applesauce Banana Berry Pancakes

I woke up this morning in a cooking mood, and decided to make some pancakes!! After browsing some recipes and looking through my kitchen, I made these:

Applesauce Banana Berry Pancakes (adapted from allrecipes)
Makes 2 pancakes
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat buttermilk pancake mix
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp egg whites
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • cinnamon to taste
  • handful of blueberries
  • 1/2 banana sliced
I added fresh blueberries and sliced bananas after spooning batter in pan.

After I cooked both sides, I added more berries and sliced banana. Yum!

Had some almond butter and whipped cream on the side. The almond butter doesn't look too appetizing in the picture, but it was oh so good!

The aftermath. I licked the plate after taking this picture. I'm not kidding.

After this very satisfying breakfast, I did a yoga video that yoga is yummy posted! You do it right in your kitchen using counter tops and your fridge! It was some much needed stretching :)

Then I made some coffee:

Mmmm...I added a little vanilla syrup and a big splash of skim milk.

This stuff is so good! And it's fair trade!

I love Sunday mornings...so relaxing. I'm really excited about the dessert I'm going to make tomorrow for my friend's birthday, so stay tuned!

Thai Food + Almond Butter = Good Food Day!

My mom came to Athens for lunch today, and we went to a restaurant called Siri Thai. Athens has several Thai restaurants, but this one is generally considered the most authentic. And everything is so delicious and fresh!! 

All the lunch entrees come with a soup and some kind of fried spring roll with duck sauce...I guess kind of like an egg roll, but so much better!

The soup had veggies, tofu, and green onions in a spicy-ish broth. My mom thought this was the best part of the meal!

The sort of egg rolls....these were incredible!

This was the entree I ordered: salmon with veggies and a chili-curry sauce! I was worried this would be too spicy, but they assured me that they only use a little chili paste. The taste of salmon and curry together was definitely unique, but I loved it!

Mom's dish = basil shrimp with veggies! I got a little jealous when her dish was so much more colorful and prettier than mine, but I actually thought mine was tastier :)

And of course we got a dessert. When I went to this restaurant over the summer, they had fresh mango over sticky rice for dessert, which was amazing! They didn't have that today (mango's out of season I guess..), but they had pumpkin custard over sticky rice! Mmmm...

They gave us coupons with our check!!! Great excuse to go back soon!

I was excited to hear that Barney Butter is supposed available at Fresh Market now. Since there is a Fresh Market near where my parents live in Marietta, I asked my mom to look for it before she came. She said that the one near us didn't have Barney Butter, but she did bring me this:

A BIG container of almond butter freshly ground in the store! So yummy, but I'm still really curious to try Barney Butter because I hear it has a different texture and taste...

The almond butter in action! (With toast, banana slices, and cinnamon). I am eating this right now. I really need to get out of the habit of eating while blogging because it makes my computer sticky, but it's so hard to write about food and not be eating it! Does anyone else have this problem?

Also, my good friend is having a cocktails and dessert party for his 22nd birthday on Monday. I'm supposed to bring a dessert, and I want it to be really delicious, but not too complicated. Any suggestions??

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike...

Tomorrow the high is 64 degrees!! Yay!!! I am so sick of this freezing weather. Its been awhile since I had the courage to ride my bike due to coldness, but on Friday I am going on a ride with some girls from triathlon club, and I am so excited! What a perfect start to the weekend!

This song always makes me smile...

I've been missing getting fresh fruits, veggies, and bread at the Athens Farmer's Market, which only runs May-November. But the dietitian that works for our school's health center did a presentation at one of my club meetings yesterday, and she told us about a website where you can order produce from local farms online! You order what you want on Monday and Tuesday, and you pick it up on Thursday. She said that her favorite thing to buy is the freshly laid eggs. I've never eaten an egg not bought from the supermarket, and now I'm really curious to try one! I know how much better homegrown fruits and veggies taste than the ones in the store, but I can't imagine what a non-commercially produced fresh egg would taste like! Have any of you ever tried one before?

I've been pretty busy and haven't made any blog worthy meals, but I do have some snacks to talk about:

I tried a Kashi Chocolate Coconut bar today. Couldn't resist this in the store! I Check it out:

This was pretty good for only 120 calories. (Also has 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein). My main disappointment was that bar didn't have as many walnuts on it as the picture on the box. But overall, I really liked it. I'm usually impressed with Kashi products.

I've been obsessed with this find:

Tiny Tolberone dark chocolate bars!!! I love the little almond nougats in Tolberone chocolate! This picture looks a little funny, but I got impatient trying to make it look right, so I finally just ate the chocolate :)

And I've been eating lots of these: 

Salted deluxe mix nuts (no peanuts). These are super addicting!! 

I plan on making some real food soon. I'm not sure what I will make yet, but it will be delicious and easy and I will post the recipe!

Also, Veggie Belly is doing an awesome giveaway of Malbec Jam and Ducle de Leche from Argentina. Yum! You can enter until the 24th :)

Happy Inauguration Day!

Thought I was going to miss the inauguration today because of my class schedule, but some friends and I were able to watch it on one of our laptops between classes. Thanks facebook for streaming CNN live! Obama finished his speech just before our next class started. What an inspiring historical moment! This was the first presidential that I really followed and cared about and voted! And I loved the Aretha Franklin and Yo-Yo Ma performances :)

I went impulse grocery shopping at Walmart after class because a friend had told me about these Wild Alaskan Salmon fillets that are individually vacuum sealed and frozen! I got a bag of 4 fillets for about $5!! I also bought strawberries and blueberries for $3 each and Roasted Pine Nut Sabra Hummus for less than $3!

I also found a new Kashi flavor: Mayan Harvest Bake

It has plantains, black beans, sweet potato, and kale with Kashi 7 whole grain pilaf, polenta, and spicy ancho sauce! I'm very excited about this flavor, and I will review here whenever I try it!

Later in the afternoon, I couldn't brave the deathly coldness outside for a run, so I went to our school gym and ran around the 1/8 mile indoor track. The gym is always packed at this time of day! It's kinda fun see how many times I can lap the sorority girls that dress up to go to the gym, but this is definitely not my favorite way to run. It does beat the treadmill, but two 20 minute intervals was about all I could stand (did some abs and push ups in between). Despite the crowds and the monotony of running around a little circle, I like going to the gym because it motivates me to do things like ab work and stretching, which I don't normally do on my own.

Made a delicious dinner tonight:

Amy's California Veggie Burger over spinach and topped with sliced tomato. I served it with sauteed orange pepper, fresh cucumber, and avocado. This is by far my favorite kind of veggie burger, and the avocado was a perfect addition!

Didn't take a picture of this, but last night for dessert I had an apple pie Lara bar that I crumbled up and put whipped cream on! It was incredible

Tonight's dessert:

Caramel ice cream topped with sliced strawberries and whipped cream and cinnamon! I was craving this after seeing something similar on Meghann's blog (Inner Working of a College Graduate). Food blogs have really been affecting my food cravings in a good way. I feel like I sometimes get into food ruts and reading blogs inspire me want to eat something new everyday!

What's in a Name?

When I created this blog, I felt a little uncomfortable using my real name, so I came up with the alias "Ella Riley." Where did this come from??

This is Ella and Riley. They are our family dogs back at home in Marietta, GA.

Anyway, I bring this up because I feel like my real name suits me very well, and although aliases are kind of fun, I am considering using my real first name instead. I haven't decided if I'll change it yet... just something I'm considering. So if my name changes on this blog, I didn't have an identity crisis, I just got tired of having a fake internet name.

I am almost finished with writing my 4 cover letters for my dietetic internship applications. I have an appointment at the UGA writing center on Wednesday to help me revise them. After taking so many science classes, I feel like I've forgotten how to write an essay! This is just a brief break from working on applications, and I also have a quiz tomorrow at 9 AM. But I have just one pic I want to show you before I go back to being a responsible student:

The Pointless Pita. It just can't hold nearly enough veggies!
Also, Oh She Glows is having another contest to win Honest Foods prizes (or Neil Brothers if you are in Canada). You should check it out here if you haven't already!

What a Weekend!

This cold weather is killing me. Yesterday I went for a run in under amour tights and 3 long sleeve shirts (it was about 35 degrees and sunny), and it was actually pretty nice expect that I couldn't find any gloves and my hands almost froze off! I can't wait for spring...

I made a delicious lunch with a Publix pre-made salad container that had baby greens, mushrooms, broccoli, green onions, tomatoes, and peppers. I put some of it in a wrap with sun dried tomato hummus (my new favorite flavor!), and the rest I had on the side with some Italian vinaigrette. I also topped the salad with some gouda cheese.

Mmmm....I figured out that the light in my bedroom is much better than the kitchen, so this pic was actually taken on my bed, haha.

Then I had a Kashi Oatmeal Raisin and Flax Cookie, which I heated up, sprinkled with cinnamon, and dipped in a glass of milk :)


Since my roommate's good friend from Kennesaw was coming to visit for her birthday, I made some brownies for her! Our moms like to give us brownie mixes whenever we go home to bring back with us to Athens, so we have been accumulating brownie mixes (I think we had like 10 at one point...) and try to bake brownies for every special occasion. Of course, I can't just make a brownie mix without adding my own touch. I usually mix in cinnamon, and sometimes we layer dark chocolate bars in the middle so you get gooey melted chocolate in the middle of your brownie! Only for true chocoholics. We love the Ghiradeli brownie mixes, but this time I used a Trader Joe's Truffle Brownie Mix. It called for a whole stick of butter, but we only had half a stick, so I substituted applesauce and it turned out great! I sprinkled the top of the brownies with white chocolate chips and toffee pieces (left over from dipping pretzels on New Year's Eve)

Before going into the oven.

After it baked, the toffee pieces melted and the white chocolate were toasted golden! Perfect!

Candles for her "second annual 21st birthday," lol. It is weird that we are all starting to turn 22 now. I don't think I like it. Getting old is not fun anymore after 21.

A bite with almond butter and whipped cream!!!

Also, I feel like making brussels sprouts is kind of the cool thing to do in the blogging world, so I decided to try to make some with dinner! I just cut them in half, tossed them with extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt, and baked them at 425 for 15 minutes.

These were great!! I love roasted veggies!

Last night we went to a party that my friend was having called "Drinking for Diabetes." The party is in honor of her good friend who has diabetes. You pay $3 for a cup of hunch punch, $10 for endless keg beer, or $1 for a jello shot. And if you get a jello shot with a star under it, you get a free Diabetes Walk tee-shirt! All the profit they make goes to support juvenile diabetes research to help find a cure for type 1 diabetes. Last night they raised over $2,000!! It's a great party and a great cause!

This morning we went had Sunday brunch at one of our favorite restaurants called Last Resort. We started going almost every weekend last year, and we always go on special weekends, so of course we had to go for our friend's birthday! I can't believe I didn't bring my camera, but I will definitely bring it next time we go, which will be soon! My roommate and I spilt the Very Veggie Omelette that had zucchini, squash, artichokes, red onion, feta cheese, and a red pepper sauce on top. It came with fruit and roasted potatoes. And then we go their chocolate raspberry cheesecake!!!! Holy yum! I love how although it is weird to have dessert after breakfast, it is completely acceptable to have dessert with brunch!! Now I am full and happy, and I'm going to try to go get some work done. Hope you all had a good weekend!

Eat this, Not that: My version

Many of you have probably heard of a book called Eat This, Not That, a nutrition book from Men's Health magazine that simplifies eating out by telling readers what foods not to order and what healthier option to order instead. I decided to make a mini version just for fun. So here we go:

For something sweet...

Eat This:

A homemade cake made with love (and real butter in sugar) by mon ami francais when he came to visit :)

Not That:
High fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, cellulose gum...eww.

For an enjoyable beverage...

Drink This:
"Red, red wine will make you feel so fine. Keeps me rockin' all of the time..." When enjoyed in moderation, you can get antioxidant benefits from red wine. Cheers to that!

Not That:
The infamous "Panty Dropper" martini. LOTS of liquor!  Only to be ordered on birthdays and shared with at least 5 people. Whenever you drink liquor, make sure you also drink plenty of water. 

For a yummy classic pancake topper:

Eat this:

Not low-cal, but very flavorful so you don't need a lot.

Not that:
Same amount of calories, but contains no actual maple syrup. Ingredients: Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Sugar...and a bunch of chemicals.

For a burger:
Eat this:

A Ted's bison burger. Bison tastes a lot like beef, but I like it because it feels less greasy and has less calories and saturated fat. At Ted's, you can also get an oatie wheat bun or without a bun and with cottage cheese.

Not that:

A quadruple bypass burger! 8,000 calories!

Happy Friday, everyone! Have a good weekend!