Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Healthy Recipes

On Sunday, I had the privilege of visiting the Dekalb Farmer's Market for the first time. Its a hike from our house, but we had gone out to lunch in Decatur for my brother's birthday. And of course Patrick was practically BEGGING me to go since we'd never been before. Not. I had to drag Patrick kicking and screaming(which surprisingly stopped once he realized that the beer and wine section at the Farmer's Market was OPEN. ON SUNDAY. AND THAT HE COULD BUY STUFF). I'm not complaining though. He was a good sport, as Sunday has to be the absolute worst time to go. 

The main reason I wanted to go was to switch out some 'traditional' ingredients and foods for some healthier ones. We have a Whole Foods near us, but it is so expensive that we don't go in that often. That and I get kind of annoyed with the whole health food thing. And the people involved. And I can't bring myself to buy flour at Whole Foods for $78 when I don't know that it'll be that much better for me. Or worth my $78. Because I would kind of rather spend that money on shoes. 

So the Farmer's Market is the perfect place (in my mind at least) to swap out a few old things, try a few new things, and learn some different ways to prepare your food. For dirt cheap.

So I bought a bunch of fruit and vegetables, but I also bought flax seed, hard wheat, couscous, millet, and raw un-pasteurized honey. Now the couscous doesn't really fit into the 'abnormal' category by any means, but buying 2 pounds for $1.10 was AWESOME. 

Once I got back, I went to Patrick's house to use his mom's wheat grinder. Because she has an incredible blueberry muffin recipe that is to die for. And it is completely guilt free. 

I wanted to give you guys the recipe because I love it so much, and could eat muffins and pastries as my sole source of sustenance if they weren't terrible for you. So why not find ways to make them better? And this is definitely the better way to go.

Here is the recipe:
2 1/4 cups freshly ground wheat (you want to use it within hours of it being ground or the nutrients start to deplete)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
1 cup buttermilk (I used nonfat Kefir - its like Greek yogurt)
1 egg
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup raw honey, unpasteurized
1-1.5 C organic blueberries
1 tsp organic cinnamon
1 tsp organic vanilla
(I added a handful of millet because it is high in vitamins and gives an extra crunch)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the wet ingredients. Add batter to muffin pan. Cook for 15 minutes.

My other favorite recipe that I made this week was MANGO SALSA. I've posted the recipe before, but since its been awhile, here it is again:

3 mangoes
1 red pepper
1 cucumber
1 red onion
handful of chopped cilantro
lime juice to taste
*this time I also added some mint leaves from my yard

Chop everything up and voila! The PERFECT mango salsa. It's great on tacos and turkey burgers. And anything in between. I would give vats of it as gifts but I eat it too fast to give it away. :)

Boot camp at work starts next week, so I'm excited to have some more regularity to my work-outs. Mine and Ginny's schedules are now opposite, so my main motivation is now gone. But hopefully this free bootcamp class twice a week will get me back in gear.

PS - I tried a lemon kale pasta the other day, and I'll do my best to post the recipe. The jury is still out on this one. Ginny loved it, but kale and I are not quite warm and fuzzy yet. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Camping, Rafting, Graduating, Etc.

It's been a great few weeks. We've been moderately busy, Patrick started a new job, and we've had some good weekend outings with friends. Spring is so nice for that sort of thing, and I think my blood pressure has dropped a good bit. That could also be in part due to my increased wine drinking as of late, but that's of course hard to measure.

In other news, today is our FOUR YEAR anniversary, and we're celebrating by going to Bistro Niko in Buckhead tonight. According to the Bert Show, it has the best bathrooms. Praise God.

Here is a look at my recent life through my iPhone: 

Libby Gray graduated from preschool! Look at that cute little bug in the green dress. 

We went camping with some friends up at Red Top Mountain. And Lucy slept here. In our tent. On my sleeping bag.  Yes it was just as terrible as it sounds. SHE IS 60 POUNDS FOLKS. And the tent was so spacious that we had to keep our bags in the car. :) It was still great fun though. And Lucy is very easy and sweet. Just very affectionate.
Last weekend we went whitewater rafting for our friend Liz's birthday. It was hilariously fun, and I have bruising down my left leg to prove it. :) Our guide was a little bit aggressive, which 80% of the time made it more fun, and 20% of the time made me want to quit and walk home. But I put on my bravest face and have great battle scars to show my domination of the Ocoee River.

This is a shot from our camping trip at Red Top Mountain. Just a little 6 mile hike before lunch. Had we known it'd be that long, then we would have packed a lunch. But Lucy loved it and we couldn't keep her out of the lake. 

Newly recovered chair in our office. I need a bright pillow for it but haven't had the time to look for one yet. 

Just ordered one of these babies that I am THRILLED about receiving! It will go in the room with the Anthro bedding in the last picture. Check out this girl at Recycled Interiors for her great design ideas, crafts, etc.

My purse rack from GoodWill that I bought for $2.67. 

Wine racks that hang on the wall like a shelf. I'll probably put wine bottles in one, and pictures in the other? The tough part will be figuring out how to hang these guys. As Patrick and I aren't the handiest of folks.

My new euro shams from Anthropologie (my happy place).  I LOVE THEM. A lot. And I have lots of Pinterest-y ideas for the room now, that I probably won't ever get around to. But now I wish I had a million dollars to Anthro in order to furnish the rest of the room to match the bedding. And you can't furnish a room from here without a million dollars.

Not sure what color to paint the walls though? 

Happy to let you in on my life these days. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Love love.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bucket Lists

A good friend asked me last weekend what was on my bucket list. And honestly, I don't have one. I'm not an adrenaline junkie, and I'd rather die than go skydiving or bungee jumping (thanks to the story where the girl's bungee cord BROKE). 

I'd rather just see every country of the world and meet as many people as I can. So I figured my best attempt at a bucket list would just include some of the places I want to visit or things I want to see. Here is my destination bucket list, and I'd love additional recommendations on things to add, as I'm sure I've barely scratched the surface of what is available in the world. 

Visit outdoor markets in Instanbul and Mumbai. Take a gondola ride in Venice. Camp on the Great Wall of China. See the cherry blossoms in Japan. See the Northern Lights. Hike to the villages of Cinque Terre. See kites being flown in Afghanistan. Sit by the ocean on the Amalfi Coast. Ride a bike in Beijing. See the fjords in Norway. Drink wine in Tuscany. 

Oooorrrr basically do everything that these guys did in their year around the world (minus the skydiving). I would even do all the overnight hiking/camping treks because they look too stunning to miss. I'd need grace from everyone on how oily my hair would be in all the pictures, but hats are always an option!

Traveling is basically a drug to me, and if I could have any luxury in the world it would be to see everything there is to see before I die. (This makes me grateful for my no vacation limit at work, but also makes me sad because I don't have millions of dollars and Patrick does have a vacation limit. Rats). Here are some photo gems stolen mostly from Matt and Taylor, in case you needed any reason to believe that their journey was anything less than incredible:

Cheers to dreaming of traveling the world.