Spring 2011 Favorites

Edible & otherwise:
  • Flowers!

Seemingly overnight, trees sprouted leaves and flowers blossomed. I love ogling the brightly hued flowers on long walks with Shelby and during jogs in the sunshine, but sometimes you’ve just gotta bring the outdoors in.

I picked up these beauties from Trader Joe’s… $5 for 10 gorgeous tulips? Sold.

With a slight vinegary aroma and an unnerving glob of some mysterious gelatinous substance (technically the kombucha “culture”, or string of yeast and bacteria), I can understand the reservations many people harbor about drinking this beverage. If you are one of those people, I hope I can encourage you to give it a try! The bubbly effervescence and fruity flavors render this fermented tea a delicious & healthy substitute for soda. There is a wide array of different flavors, averaging about 60 calories and 4 grams of sugar per bottle.

It comes in whole bean form, and you grind it right there in the store. If you have never ground your own coffee, you are in for an olfactory sensation! I gradually weaned myself off of caffeine by slowly increasing the ratio of decaf to regular coffee until my body was accustomed to 100% decaf.

Now that the temperatures are rising, I’m making iced coffee more often. My preferred method is to combine water and coffee grinds in a french press, cover (but don’t plunge yet!) and chill in the fridge overnight, and then plunge the coffee in the morning. Best iced coffee ever.

All-natural, stevia-sweetened, calorie-free soda. My favorite flavors include Cream Soda, Black Cherry, Gingerale, Ginger Root Beer, and Grapefruit Citrus.

Yes, I make a lot of homemade ice cream and frozen yogurt, but a girl’s gotta have her grocery store favorite. For each 1/2 cup serving, the chocolate peanut butter fruit-sweetened ice cream has 150 calories (40 from fat), 3.5 grams fat, 3 grams both protein & fiber, and 11 grams sugar.

Whenever I make brown rice as part of dinner (cooked in water with just a touch of salt), I make 4 servings so there are guranteed leftovers. I use up the cold rice two ways: For breakfast – combined with almond milk, water, raisins, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and almond slices cooked like stovetop oatmeal until hot and creamy. For lunch – stirred into plain Greek yogurt with raisins, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and almond slivers as a healthy “rice pudding”.

I’ve been enjoying this dessert-y cereal along with Sunspire Grain-Sweetened Chocolate Chips as a light s’mores-inspired after-dinner treat.

  • Across The Universe soundtrack

Various artists covering classic Beatles songs; Jim Sturgess and Dana Fuchs are particularly awesome!

  • Water For Elephants – the book.

I first read this book when it initially hit bookstore shelves a few years ago, but I’m re-reading it prior to seeing the movie.

Have you seen the movie yet?

  • Thirty Seconds To Mars

Why on earth did it take me so long to get into Jared Leto’s band?! Yes, I was slow to jump on the bandwagon… but I’m riding now, and I don’t plan to jump off any time soon.

The video for The Kill (Bury Me) is especially awesome – the song rocks, and any allusion to The Shining is okay by me.

  • My So-Called Life re-runs through Netflix watch instantly

Watching hours of Angela Chase (Claire Danes) obsess over Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto) may or may not have triggered my new interest in the band mentioned above ;).

And that just about wraps it up.

What about you? Any overlaps with my current favorites?

*On another note, the resounding consensus from the poll in my last post was a ‘yes’ for including nutritional information for recipes on Healthy Food For Living. You asked for it, so I will bring it ;). I have three tropical-inspired recipes coming next week, and they will be accompanied by their respective nutritional information, as will all recipes from now on.

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