Ryan and I just got back from an amazing vacation out west.  We went to several National Parks...Zion, Grand Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Capital Reef, and Bryce....did a ton of strenuous hiking, about 86 miles total, saw some spectacular views, and ate a lot of high calorie, not so nutrient dense, food!  Many people are surprised when they hear that I don't eat well all the time, but hey....I AM NOT AN ALIEN!   i actually planned to eat relatively healthy and nutrient dense while on vaca, at least when we ate at restaurants, but after long days of climbing steep grades and carrying a heavy pack, i really just wanted fries, pizza, and cheesy Mexican food!  oh, and BEER!  so, that's what i did!  and when we camped, we had ramen noodles, easy mac, and instant potatoes!  it really hit the spot!  and i can't forget our desserts in the desert...raisinets and fig newtons.  Plus, i had gelato twice!   dang, i really ate a ton!  good thing we averaged about 8 miles a day!   some of the highlights, besides the food, was The Narrows in Zion....a 16 mile hike where the Virgin River was the trail, the water was cold and the cliffs on both sides were high....some true backcountry backpacking in the Grand Canyon....a steep decent in the rain on the first day, the long, somewhat confusing Tonto trail the second day, where we had to backtrack numerous times because we missed the hidden cairns(rockpile markers), and a steady 4-5 mile climb up the South Kaibab trail the third day with little water left!....and incredibly sites in Moab, Arches, and the Needles section in Canyonlands.    i plan to post pics all week on facebook.

now that i am back at home and settled, i will not be eating pizza and ice cream much!  i do not feel guilty in the least about getting off the "Bree" track, but am definitely ready to get back on!   very happy to get a local veggie box this week with TONS of greens!  monday was a bit of a detox day, consisting of protein pancakes with berries for breakfast, arugula walnut pesto with quinoa and lentils for lunch, kale smoothie for afternoon snack, and sauted tofu over spinach salad for dinner. yesterday was soaked oats for breakfast, the same lunch, and a smoked salmon and creamy tofu, sun-dried tomato, and artichoke spread wrap for dinner.   it is gonna be a good week.  plus, it is my birthday today!!!

here are some recipes...
Protein Pancakes 
  • 4 egg whites (~1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese or 1/8 cup almond milk + 1/8 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds
  • dash of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth batter forms, then cook in non-stick pan on medium heat for about 2-4 minutes each side.
Enjoy topped with strawberries, blueberries, and maple syrup, agave nectar, or local honey.
Also works in a waffle maker!

Walnut Arugula Pesto
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 6 cups arugula
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt (may need more, go by your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place walnuts and 3 cups arugula in food processor and pulse until all arugula is shredded up.  Add garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and the rest of the arugula and pulse again.  Then turn processor on low and stream in the oil until a thick, creamy paste forms. 
Put a spoon full on whole grains like quinoa, barley, farro, or millet.
makes a lot, can use all week!

Kale Smoothie
one apple, leave skin on, diced up (you can use another neutral colored fruit like pear or melon*)
2 packed cups chopped kale
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
1 scoop unflavored whey protein powder (optional)
this time i add a small chuck of fresh ginger!

link for soaked oats.....

Smoked Salmon Wrap
1/2 block of firm tofu
2 tbsp sun-tomato paste
1 tbsp capers
1 small garlic clove
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 artichoke hearts ( i used canned)
3-4 whole wheat tortillas
3/4 cup roughly chopped kale
6oz smoked salmon

put the first 7 ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.  add salt and pepper if you like.

spread the mixture on 3-4 tortillas and top it with the kale and the salmon.

roll tortillas up into logs and eat it as a wrap or cut across to make little pin-wheels.