Real simple, real free

I currently don’t subscribe to any paid magazine subscriptions, but if I did, I would definitely get a subscription to Real Simple magazine. Well, the next best thing to their magazine, is their website. I especially liked one of the featured articles from today and thought I would share because who doesn’t love free stuff!

Surprising Stuff You Can Get for Free | Real Simple.

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Taiwanese girl takes on Turkish food

I was going to wait until I ate all 30 new foods before I wrote a post about accomplishing #24 on my TB30 list. But I just had a meal so delish that I believe it is deserving of a post of its very own.

After posting my TB30 list on my blog, my wonderful friend, D (check out her blog here) offered to help me cross off a few from the list, particularly #24. Now, I must tell you about my dear friends, D and R. D and I used to be classmates and her husband, R, is currently finishing up his PhD. We don’t necessarily hang out very often or socialize with the same crowds. And on the surface, we all don’t have much in common: A Taiwanese girl raised in the South, a girl who grew up in Vermont and a guy born and raised in Turkey and now living in America. But it is our love…no, our passion for food and life that we share in common. I don’t know what it is about D and R, but instantly I knew I just liked them. They are 2 of the most interesting and talented and kind people that I have ever met. You know those kind of people you just feel a kindred spirit with? Well, that’s D and R. After meeting 2 years ago, we had talked about giving each other Turkish and Taiwanese cooking lessons and we honestly had all the best of intentions of getting together, but just hadn’t. Well, with my birthday just being around the corner, there was a sense of urgency that gave us that push to do it. So, D invited me over tonight for a last-minute trip around the world to enjoy a homemade Turkish meal. Continue reading

They say it takes 21 days…

They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Well, the new habits I plan on forming are only for the weekdays (Is that cheating?) and I know I’m bound to miss a few days. So, according to my calculations,if I start now, I’ve given myself about 40 weekdays to get my habits formed before my next birthday so I can check off #3 from my TB30 list.

I couldn’t decide on just 3, so I came up with 4 new habits that I want to start. (Plus, if one doesn’t go through, I’ll still have met my goal of 3 new habits.) Continue reading

Popeye approved: Faux Cream of Spinach Soup in the Vitamix

The cool fall day today made me really crave soup for dinner. I had bought a big ‘ole bunch of spinach at the Asian market tonight. So, I decided to make a faux cream of spinach soup. This recipe could easily be vegan if made with vegetable broth instead of chicken.

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4 T onion, peeled/chopped

2 t canola or olive oil

1/2 # fresh spinach, washed

2 c broth (chicken or vegetable)

1 1/2 t cornstarch

3 oz tofu

  Continue reading

digital decluttering

Although I really dreaded having to do #5 on my TB30 list, I got some great encouragement from my friend L. She suggested, in keeping with my 30’s theme, that I delete 30% of my Facebook friends.  Now, I consider myself pretty selective in who I have “friended” on FB and definitely don’t play the “let’s see who can get the most friends on FB” game, but was surprised that after doing the math, I realized that in deleting 30% that I would have to delete 154.5 friends! Continue reading

tHiRtY before 30

Here is my list of the things I want to do before I turn 30.

Caveat: You must know that ever since I turned 25-ish, I have had a hard time admitting my age to people. I don’t know why because in no one’s book is mid-20’s considered “old”. To be honest, some of it must stem from insecurity. I guess sometimes I’m insecure about what I should have accomplished or experienced by age “x” and by admiting my age, I’m allowing people to judge whether or not I’m living up to that standard.  So, for me to put a post about turning 30 out “there” for all to see, is a BIG deal…but also is part of #30 on my list.

In following with the so-called theme of this blog, these are things that I want to do or try to make my life a little fuller. In reality, I know that the list is ambitious to try to do all of these things before my next birthday, which is in about 2 months, but that’s okay because that will just leave me more to do by my next birthday. Look for posts on some that have already been accomplished. And even though I haven’t completed this list, I’m also taking suggestions for next year’s list as well. Continue reading

Oodles and oodles of zoodles

Here is a post on what you can do with all of those zucchinis from this summer’s garden.

When I was at the farmer’s market buying peaches and basil for the smoothie that I wanted to try, I also picked up some beautiful zucchinis. I wanted to try to make the zoodles that I had tried at the local raw/vegan cafe that I ate at the other day. This is perfect for people who are following diet restrictions (for whatever reason), like vegan or raw food diets and for people who just want a fun way to eat zucchini besides zucchini bread. For this re-creation, I did not see what ingredients they used to make them with and just went with my instincts on what I thought I might like. I hope the owner of this cafe isn’t offended by my attempts at re-creating her delicious dishes. I hope she just remembers that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Here’s what I used in my version of zoodles:

zucchini, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds (I had white and black so I used both), sugar (not shown in picture)

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Here is what the zucchini looks like after it’s been attacked by the julienne peeler. Don’t they look like green noodles?

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Here is the delicious final product: Zoodles (They were so yummy that I ate them with 2 meals today and I can’t wait to get my hands on more zucchini.)

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My new favorite end-of-summer combo: Peaches and basil

I recently visited a cute local vegan/raw cafe with my cubie, F. We shared an lunch entree that included zoodles and an amazing beet salad. We also decided to each order a smoothie. There were so many to select from; I ended up going with the chef’s recommendation, the Tropical Peach, which featured flavors of peaches and basil. I thought it sounded like an interesting combination and wanted to see what it was like. Let me tell you. It was the most refreshing, clean-tasting, delicious creation! I took note of the ingredients she used to prepare it and rushed to the farmer’s market to buy some local peaches and basil so I could try this at home.

Here are the ingredients I used to create a smoothie perfect for summer’s end:

2 fresh peaches (I used white, but I’m guessing yellow would be just as good, maybe even better), 6-7 basil leaves, 1/2 c frozen mango, small handful of walnuts, 2 T shredded coconut, 1/2 c coconut milk, agave nectar (just a squeeze…may not need if peaches are really sweet), ice

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I blended everything up in my Vitamix on high for about 30 seconds.

I didn’t even have time to garnish the smoothie before R grabbed it up and downed it. By the way, this picture does this smoothie no justice.

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makes 2 generous servings

It’s official…I Heart my Vitamix!

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to have a way to capture life to share with my baby sister and BIL while they are away in Afghanistan serving our nation. The other main reason is because I wanted to share with everyone my adventures in the kitchen, especially those that involve my Vitamix (VM). If you know me at all, you know how I can’t stop raving about my VM. I joking told a friend that if I had a dollar for each time I mentioned their blender, I wouldn’t need to work. Well, I recently found out that I could promote the VM and the VM lifestyle and potentially earn a dollar. So, I am now officially a Vitamix affiliate, which basically means that I can offer free shipping and handling ($25 value) to anyone who buys a VM through me, using the link on this page (see below) or by using my affiliate code (06-005573) at checkout if buying online.

Here’s to living a full life: full stomach, full mind, full heart!

Shrek Juice and Blueberry Ice Cream in the Vitamix

I have decided to affectionately refer to my green smoothies as “Shrek Juice”. This morning I made a special batch of Shrek Juice (SJ) to take to work with me. Today’s SJ was made with banana, pineapple (the not pretty part that you don’t want to eat, but is a waste to throw it away), including pineapple core (or pineapple hearts), frozen strawberries, frozen mangos, carrot, grape tomatoes and and the “Shrekiest” of ingredients—a generous handful of spinach!

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As you can see, I definitely made enough to share. So, I packaged it up for my bike ride to work by pouring the SJ into pint-sized Ball jelly jars. I then put the jars into a insulate cooler (that I scored the other day for free from the University career fair—which I likely didn’t have business visiting). Continue reading

Butter me up: Homemade cinnamon-honey butter in the Vitamix blender

As I sit here writing this post, I am enjoying some luscious homemade strawberry ice cream (made with real cream, not skim milk like I usually do) made in the Vitamix.

Picture 018But I digress. I wanted to tell you about my first attempt at making butter in the Vitamix. As a dietitian, you may be wondering why I am making my own butter. Well, #1: I am not against eating butter (everything in moderation); #2: I have a machine that can do it and wanted to see how easy or hard it was; and #3 I had some whipping cream in the fridge that was getting close to its expiration date and wanted to use it up. Continue reading

About me.

What are three-and-a-half interesting tidbits about yourself?

1. I have a container fetish.

2. I often (usually daily) wear 3 mis-matched earrings on purpose.

3. I have a list of what I call “Starbucks names” that I use at restaurants where they call out your name when your order is ready 1) to avoid the hassle of trying to spell it and 2) to avoid the embarrassment of the employee when they struggle to pronounce it.

3.5. I get a high off of free (and ridiculously cheap) things. Give-a-ways, free food samplings, coupons/discount codes and roadside treasures. This girl lives on good deals!

So, you’re a registered dietitian. Does that mean you only eat “healthy” things?

Capital “N”, capital “O”. In fact, the other day at a friend’s 50th birthday party, after I just finished explaining to some new friends that I was a dietitian, a grandmother shook her finger at me for eating a Puerto Rican fried codfish patty.  For some people, they exercise to stay fit and reduce their disease risk. For me, I exercise so I can eat. Growing up, I never put much thought into what I ate. I knew that inherently somethings were better choices, but that often didn’t stop me from eating them. My afternoon snack in high school after I could drive was 3 McDonald’s cheeseburgers. I was one of those blessed with a wooden leg as a child. Now, that I’m growing older, um, I mean, wiser and I’m cooking for more than just myself, I’ve taken more interest in not only promoting well eating to others (which used to be my job), but in eating well myself.

Do you consider yourself a “green” person?

Maybe not Kermit-the-frog green, but maybe more of a yellow-ish green (?). Do I think that we should all be taking steps to make this earth a better place to live now and then? Yes. Do I think it’s realistic for everyone to grow all of your own food, never drink bottled water and go around all day hugging trees? No. But I do think that we can all find ways to adjust our current lifestyle so that it’s Planet Earth friendly.

Why did you decide to start a blog?

The idea to start a blog came from wanting to capture daily happenings of life to share with my sister and BIL who are serving our country in the war in Afghanistan. Before she deployed we would talk regularly about everything! I miss her dearly and wanted to find a way to “tell” her everything that was going on here in the States. So, I thought the best way to do it would be to start a blog.

Again, back to the dietitian thing, does that mean your blog is only going to be about food?

No, I’m not necessarily writing to appeal to a specific audience. Again, I’m started a blog as a way to document my life. Yes, there is a lot of food in my life being that I live to eat and that I’m in the field of nutrition. So, my blog will have a lot of food focus, but I’m mainly hoping that it will just be an fancy electronic reflection of me.

Your blog’s web address is pocketoffulllife.wordpress.com. Can you explain the meaning behind the name?

First of all, for any of you that know me personally, you know that I have name issues. So, a lot of thought went into the name of my blog. Any web articles that I read about naming a blog said that the blog should give readers an idea of what your blog’s focus would be and reflect your personality and style. Well, that was a little bit of a problem because I didn’t want my blog to have just 1 focus. I wanted it just to be about my life and hey, if something interesting happens along the way, then hey, I’ll blog about it. Literally, months of time passed before I came up with any contenders. I even went through an intense brainstorming process to try and inspire ideas. Well, once I finally settled on something (hurray!), almost quicker than my fingers could type I went to wordpress.com to register my blog’s desired name. Well, whadda ya know? Of course, it was taken. Back to the drawing board. Well, I fell to love the concept of full life, which is what I am trying to live and embrace and I love pockets. I figured out that the reason I really love pockets is because they are just “containers” for your hands. Pockets are just the right size to fit needed essentials. I guess symbolically what I’m trying to say is that it living a full life doesn’t mean that you have to have everything. It means doing the most you can with what you have. It is the ideal of have a “rich” life simply that I want to embrace. So, pocketoffulllife.wordpress.com is my version and finally, my blog, now with an identity, can make it’s entrance into blog world.