Plant Protein: Whole Foods Cooking Class

Woo! It’s been a crazy busy week, so I’m catching up from last weekend still!  As I stated earlier, I’m working on eating healthier and getting back into a regular workout routine in my efforts to lose weight before IMWI 2015 training starts (in February!).  So this past week here were my workouts:

  • Sunday – 9 mile run (I’m prepping for the Chicago Perfect 10 mile race next weekend 11/8)
  • Monday – 1st Crossfit Elements class! Learned how to jump rope, burpee, and do kettlebell swings properly!
  • Tuesday – Morning Run! and Vision Quest cycling later that night
  • Wednesday – rest + an Oiselle Ladies Night at Live Grit
  • Thursday – Crossfit Elements class #2
  • Friday – Halloween Wedding event
  • Saturday – rest (feeling a little under the weather)
  • Sunday (today) – 10 mile run with CTC

Last Sunday I got the chance to meet up with some other Chicago Bloggers to try out a cooking class at Whole Foods Northbrook.  Instructors Sarah and Robin were great in showing us how to cook protein-packed, plant-based food.  We made some great dishes!

Homemade pasta with eggs for protein:

Veggie Primavera pasta sauce:


And then we made an avocado ranch salad dressing, using the Vitamix:


And went shopping for salad ingredients.  I was surprised – we got a ton of stuff for less than $12, when we expected the ingredients we purchased to be over $20! I guess no more Whole Paycheck!


We also made a berry cobbler!  This was delicious and I had fun trying some of the various potential toppings:  coconut sugar, date sugar, some nuts I’d never had…


Robin also demo’ed some great ideas for smoothies and snack/dessert truffles that were delicious!  Thank you to Whole Foods Northbrook for hosting us and teaching us about plant-based protein!


Some photos provided by my awesome cooking partner, Diana of Veggie Next Door.  

My meal planning process

Good morning!  I thought I’d follow up on my last post around eating habits and share what my meal planning looks like these days.  Usually by Saturday morning, I finish this up so that the husband is ready for the weekend grocery shopping.

I plan out each week in Evernote, and start off with the weather & my goals for the week (food-wise).  My thoughts with this are to inform a seasonal eating strategy, and to be thoughtful toward my bigger picture goals.  (Really, I am looking to monitor my food so I can lose weight to be better at triathlon next year!)

Here’s what this past week’s meal plan looked like:  

Weather Forecast For Week: high 60s, low 70s. Rain at end of week.
Meal Planning Goal of the Week:   Track all meals in my fitness pal! Drink 8 glasses of water / day!

Green smoothiescurried-post-and-quinoa-stew-4_thumb
Overnight oatmeal
Sweet Potatoes baked on Sunday

None planned. (Boo hoo!)

Sunday –  Curried Pork and Quinoa Stew from Cotter Crunch
Monday-  Taste of VQ (computrainer workout).   Easy stir fry afterward.
Tuesday – Kale, Sausage & Spaghetti Squash Pasta
Wednesday – Layered Zucchini Parmesan and leftover spaghetti squash. Mike makes a simple pasta?
Thursday – Lauren makes some sweet potato gnocchi’s? Or easy dinner
Friday – Quinoa pizza crust pizza
Saturday – TBD.

Spaghetti Squash, Kale, Sausage PastaSunday Food Prep: 
Prep: Bake the spaghetti squash
Make Pork & quinoa stew (4-6 hours total)
Make green smoothie batch
Bake some sweet potatoes
Move all recipes into “MyFitnessPal” Recipes

Non-Staple Ingredients to Buy: 
Avocados -2
Colorful peppers
Kale (bagx2)
Apple or pear
More almonds
Spaghetti squash
Sausage -ground pork 2 lb
Quinoa x2

How is it going? 
I’ve been doing this for most of September now, and it’s coming along.  I still work at trying to actually do the Sunday Meal Prep on Sunday, and sometimes I forget evening activities.  (For example, I forgot that we had a Chicago Tri Club meeting last Wednesday, so that zucchini dish didn’t get made. And then we decided to eat out on Friday.  And have a surprise late dinner post evening 5K Mike did on Saturday).

Thanks to Jenn from Peas & Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday! wiaw-fall-into-good-habits-button

How to Make a Crawfish Boil

A recap from my New Orleans trip back in April!  Time has run away, and I wanted to share my final special experience from that trip!

In New Orleans we were invited to a very special activity – a crawfish boil at someone’s home!  We have a friend who moved to NOLA and one of her local friends wanted to put this on for us.

1. Put your crawfish in a baby pool and rinse them out a few times. Don’t let any crawfish run to freedom.

IMG_3154 crawfish raw

2. Pour crawfish into a big pot with other “boil” goodies:  potatoes, sausage, onions & garlic.


3.  Stir the pot.  I think we had to wait ~10 minutes per pot of crawfish.

4. Pour them out onto a picnic table & enjoy!

I miss New Orleans and loved it’s personality!  The crawfish boil was an unexpected special treat and so cool to see! They were juicy, good & spicy!