The turning of the calendar page today marks the passing of the springtime glow of May to the summer sun of June. Beyond the mere changing of the seasons, June’s arrival marks the simultaneous arrival of several big events in my life. During the month of June, I shall do the following:
- Send in my application to MED SCHOOLS!!!!! Ahhhhh!
- Start my marathon training. Ahhhhh!!!!
- Ummm….how about celebrate my 1-month blogiversary? Ahhh?
Allright, so the third event is a bit of a stretch, but three just seems like a more complete number than two. Who wants to list just two things of monumental importance when you can list three?
As you can see, June is a big month for yours truly. I’m so excited to be able to finally start on this medical school application process even if it scares the bijabbers out of me. I’ve been hoping to go to med school since I was a little girl, so hopefully, this month will represent the start of my dreams coming true! Fingers crossed.
And then there’s this whole marathon thing. My first marathon, mind you. That’s a whole other beast entirely. I’ve run two half marathons in the past year, and I thought that doing a marathon would be a great challenge for myself over the summer. When I saw that the Denver Marathon was becoming the Denver Rock N’ Roll Marathon this year, I knew it was meant to be. How could I resist a course in my homestate now that it was an adoptee of the fabulous Rock N’ Roll series? How could I possibly the resist the pull of the physical challenge combined with the fun of the race atmosphere? I couldn’t.
I figured that I might as well commit to the race and do the training while I’m in the post-grad lull between college and medical school. I have the time, so why not? Why not run 26.2 miles? Don’t any of you answer that for me.
Finally, I’ll celebrate my 1-month blogiversary in a week or so. Whoohooo! Happiness and joy.
To prepare myself for the exciting challenges and milestones of the upcoming month, I made a special bowl of overnight oats:
I prepped my oats the night before my combining 1/4 cup Coach’s Oats, 1/2 cup TJ’s whole grain drink, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1T chia seeds, 1/2 sliced banana, and a pinch of cinnamon and salt. I mixed this all up, and allowed to sit overnight in the fridge.
Now, I don’t normally buy berries since they’re so expensive, but I splurged this week at Whole Foods and came home bearing a stack of gorgeous and organic berries! Come the morning, I added a bevy of these berries to the bowl including strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I didn’t feel nut butter would go well with the berries, so I opted for something lighter, about 2.5T of sliced almonds.
It was beautiful and berry yummy. 🙂
All mixed up:
Time to feast!
If you have some berries on hand, you owe it to yourself to put them into your overnight oats at some point during the summer. Ripe summer berries just add such a flavor punch to the yogurt. Muy delicioso.
Fast-forward a few hours of digestion time, and I was back at the Y. I focused on arms + cardio today. I did a few cardio interval blasts in between arm sets to keep my heart rate high (i.e. 1 min spring, 1 min recovery for 5 min). The arm sets featured a lot of tricep, chest, and shoulder exercises. Needless to say, my arms are tired now…but in a good way of course! I finished off with some lazy elliptical action for about 30 minutes. ‘Twas good.
Lunch was unexciting, but easy to pack! Hello leftovers!
Afternoon snacky snack.
Slice of Ezekiel bread w/1T raw PB plus a sprinkle of cacao nibs. A new snack combo for me, and I’ll definitely make it again. It kept me satisfied for many hours afterward!
Dinner was lazy but tasty. All of it came from Whole Foods actually, so you know it couldn’t possibly have tasted bad!
- Thawed and reheated whole wheat olive bread from Whole Foods + a little buttah spread on top
- Teriyaki Swordfish burger from WF
- Roasted frozen okra seasoned with salt n’ peppa (frozen okra also obtained from WF!)
I know swordfish is supposed to be high in mercury, but I would eat this burger anytime, anywhere someone served it to me. It was amazing. I have no idea what the Whole Foods people did to it, but it had to have involved sorcery of some sort. That’s the only explanation for how good it tasted.
After dinner, I did some more nut butter experimentation. I had a sack of roasted almonds, and some ideas percolating in my head. These ideas merged with my almonds to form this smooth and lovely nut butter creation:
I present to you Cocoa Mole Almond Butter.
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 T vegetable oil
- 1t extra hot chile powder
- 1t cinnamon
- 1/8t salt
- Mix above ingredients in a food processor (or mini food processor!). Process until smooth and creamy (about 8-10 minutes).
I like this nut butter creation because it’s not uber-sweet. It has a very interesting and complex flavor combination, but it is not overwhelming. You can taste the various elements added to the almonds, and my favorite lingering note is the heat from the chile powder. I find it divine! Again, this isn’t the sweetest of nut butters, but it’s fun. And who doesn’t like a little spicy heat added to their nut butter? Wait. Why is everyone raising their hand? Don’t knock it till you tried it. :p
The key to the mole-ness?
Extra hot chile powder direct from New Mexico. I bought a huge sack of ground red chile powder from one of the grocery stores in Santa Fe while on a visit to my grandparent’s house in Taos, and I’ve enjoyed using it in anything and everything I cook. It adds the perfect touch of heat to my dishes. So I’ll take this moment right here and now to profess my love for New Mexico, its chiles, and the fact that the entire state is obsessed with them. I’m proud that I could represent New Mexico and add a little Southwestern flavor to my nut butter. 🙂 I’m bringing the Southwest to the Northeast! Holla!
Sorry. I’ll get back to business here. Unfortunately, the last remainder of business I have yet to discuss is my dessert, and it ain’t pretty. Check this out.
While this looks repulsive, it was in fact delicious. After I finished scooping out my Cocoa Mole Almond Butter into its container, I threw 1/2 a frozen nanner into the food processor and processed until the banana took on a smooth consistency, thus making this Banana Soft Serve stuff that has taken the food blog world by storm.
Well, after trying it out, I can see why. It really does taste like banana ice cream! This particular batch mixed in with the nut butter remnants to create an almond butter-infused banana soft serve. I loved it. I will use a whole banana next time because a half-banana portion just wasn’t enough.
Allright, this post has gone on far too long, and I need to get to bed. And read. And all that good stuff that I mention every night. I am a creature of habit, what can I say?
Question: Do any of you lovely readers enjoy spicy foods? Does heat make your heart and taste buds dance with delight? Or does it drive you crazy? Discuss. Talk amongst yourselves.
I think it’s obvious that I’m obsessed with heat. It adds so much to a dish, in my opinion. The hotter, the better!