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12 Sep

Alone and helpless, my shoes sat.  Abandoned and unused yoga mat, where no stretching was done. Ignored tennis ball.  A sad sight, indeed. Luckily, my running shoes will be there tomorrow.

I had the bright idea this week to study before school or work, since I am having a hard time studying when I get home in the evening.  I knew I would work out, no matter what time of day. That was a bad idea, and I will fix it tomorrow.

That led to today being weird. Funky. Random.

I tried all day to convince myself that tea was as good as coffee.  Though I drink decaf, it is habit to drink coffee and tea just was not cutting it. I will make some decaf coffee in the morning… tomorrow.

The internet was down pretty much all day, so I was not able to complete the work I set out to do.  Oh well, the files will still be there tomorrow, and the IT guy (who happens to be my bro-in-law)  says the internet should be there too.

There was a swarm of bees in this tree today, and one of them came in my office when someone left the door open.  I do not blame them for leaving the door open… after all, we were having a water heater issue which caused the whole office to smell like eggs. I can’t handle the smell another day.  I am bringing a candle with me to the office tomorrow.

Have I mentioned how amazing my mom is?  In light of the whole water smelling like eggs business, you know it does not taste good.  I am not sure why it stinks so badly, but I am certain that I should not be drinking it.  When I mentioned the stinky water to my mom this weekend, she responded by buying me this 3 gallon jug to take to work.  She is a keeper 🙂  I should really give her a hug tomorrow.

My bad mood funk led to me feeling a bit extra snack all day. Luckily, there were no extra snacks to be found.  I only pack enough food for what I actually need.  The only thing I bring that is in excess is tea bags. I knew that this oatmeal square was in my lunch to eat as a snack before evening class.  I wanted it all day long, but managed to wait until 4 before warming it and enjoying.

Hello huge raisins and pepitas! I put extra cinnamon in this batch and less maple syrup.  Not sweet, but so tasty!  I think I will have another for a snack tomorrow.

Every once in a while I make a meal that evolves from simple to very complex.

It started with the a need of using some green beans, and a desire to use some of the garlic infused olive oil that I purchased as a splurge at Whole Foods on Saturday, when I should have been doing more studying than grocery shopping.

I roasted green beans, some mushrooms, and a potato in the garlic olive oil with a little sea salt.  I topped the roasted veggies with some pizza sauce and rice cheese, and put it back in the oven in a smaller dish for about 5 minutes.

Out came dinner.  Roasted. Garlicky. Tomatoey. Cheesy. Yummy. Sure hope I don’t smell like garlic tomorrow.

Have you been watching for honeycrisp apples?  The countdown is on.  Be on the lookout!  If you are the first one to send me a picture of their display at your store, I will be sending you a $5 Starbucks giftcard.  Check out the rules and more details!

I’ve got to go layout some clothes for running tomorrow!  Who can afford to be in a funk two days in a row?

Today,  I am thankful for tomorrow.






Struck Gold

9 Sep


I have been on a hunt, a journey, a voyage. It has required persistence.  It has required patience. I have been looking, and looking, and looking for Garlic Gold.  I have heard incredible things about this stuff. I have seen it used on many a blog and many a vegetable.

Turns out that I have been looking in the wrong place.  I was looking by the spices, but I found it with the pasta sauces.  I do not completely get the logic, but now that I know where it is, I will always be able to find it again!

Garlic Gold is crunchy garlic nuggets toasted in olive oil to crispy perfection.

When I find a product that I am really excited about, I feel the need to use it immediately!

After sauteeing some vegetables, I made a couple little mini pizzas on Ezekial tortillas, and liberally dashed it with Garlic Gold.

I even sprang for some non-dairy cheese… it was on sale.

Italian nachos… mini pizza… whatever you want to call it, it was good.

Do you use garlic gold?

If so, how do you use it?  I need some suggestions!

Ketchup for Dinner

2 Sep

This morning I did not have much time to invest in breakfast. Truthfully, the joy banana was missing from breakfast, which left me clueless what to have.  I landed on two pieces of toast – one with 1 teaspoon of almond butter and honey , one with 1 teaspoon almond butter and Crofter’s Strawberry Real Fruit Spread.  I just did not feel that full after eating, but I was headed to Starbucks to see a friend who works there.  So, I was hoping that the soy milk I would have in my coffee would give a me a little more protein and keep me feeling full.

I ended up having a very busy morning, and did not stop for lunch until 12:30.  I am trying to learn to listen to what my body wants to eat and when it wants to eat.  So, I ate veggie stirfry with brown rice, and my perfect tofu.  I only ate about 2/3, felt satisfied, and stopped.

That was a victory for me!  Around these parts we celebrate victories, big and small.

I ended up eating the rest about 2 hours later when I was hungry again.  I worked late, so I ate a couple nuts to keep the hangry version of myself at bay.

In an effort to maintain my food budget I have decided that I want to eat out once a weekend, and I will be tomorrow or Sunday, so I declined my inner desire to visit Loving Hut tonight.  Instead I asked myself what I was really wanting to eat.

The answer: ketchup,

What? A condiment?  That is not dinner.

I have not had ketchup since May… I remember the day. That poison high fructose corn syrup seems to be in everything these days, so I have pretty much avoided ketchup.  But, tonight I went and bought some Muir Glen ketchup and fresh green beans, as well as bananas (yay for breakfast tomorrow!)

I also got the last couple notebooks I needed for school, on clearance.  Thanks Target!

When I walked through the door I was met by these ladies…

Cali (my mom’s cat)

Betsey (my sister’s cat)

I was also met with the last textbook I needed.  Seriously, buying textbooks is like being robbed.

What the cats did not know, and I am not going to be the one to tell them, is that my lab manual is the “cat version”, meaning I may have to dissect a cat at some point.  I am NOT an animal person, but I am also not a cat dissecter.  Well, at least not yet.

Back to the ketchup… (I guess was not the best time to switch from talking dissection to talking about ketchup)

I thinly sliced a small sweet potato, and roasted the green beans and sweet potato at 350 for about 25 minutes after misting them with olive oil and sea salt.

I am genuinely convinced that if there were an award for slicing vegetables thinly by hand with a pretty dull knife, I think I would win.

While I waited (what seemed like forever), I made a mess in the kitchen an oatmeal cookie.  I knew I wanted dessert and I wanted to make something that I could eat and still feel good about.

I mixed 1/4 c oats, 1/3 scoop vanilla protein poswder, 1/2 T PB2, 1/2 T almond milk, 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax+2.5 T water that you let sit for 5 minutes), 1 t pure maple syrup, dash of cinnamon, 1/4 t pure vanilla extract, 1 t unsweetened Baker’s chocolate chopped. I baked it at 350 for about 12 minutes.

Finally the veggies were done.  Ok, maybe I actually ate the thinner ones as they started getting dark.

I squirted a hearty squirt of ketchup, with vegetables and a Gardenburger on the side.  After all, I was having ketchup for dinner.

Finally, after a week of standing behind my perch, I am committed to an evening of sitting in preparation for a long run in the morning.

Do you try to eat what you are really wanting?

Do you have a food budget? 



1 Sep

Rarely do I ever come straight home after work, and IF I do, I do not usually stay home for long.

Tonight I was supposed to go somewhere, but I ended up getting to stay home, and it was in-cre-dible.

I got 8 hours of sleep last night, after only getting 5 on Tuesday night. Needless to say I was dragging on Wednesday, but I felt great today…well, I felt good. I never feel great if I skip a morning workout. The only way I could get a morning workout and 8 hours of sleep would require me to be in bed by 9. I am usually in bed by 10, but 9?

I won’t lie… I get hangry on the way home from work when I feel like I am fighting the traffic just to get home. As soon as I walked in the door after work, I ate a smoothie with some cereal and donned my bike attire and headed for my bike trainer.

Question: Do you put air in your tires every time you ride your bike, whether on the road or trainer? I was told that I need to, but it is seriously my least favorite thing to do in the entire world.

There was some major sweating going on. Riding the bike trainer is more more challenging to me than riding outside. When I ride outside I get the occasional down-hill break or an easy flat area, but on the trainer I feel like I need to be pushing the entire time.

I am always trying to distract myself on the trainer, so I usually watch tv or a movie, but today I read a new magazine that I got yesterday.

Sadly it only took me the first 20 minutes of my ride, so I hopped off and turned on a couple episodes of Cheers. (love that show)

Highlights of the issue:

  • “I often hear people say, ‘I’m not a real runner.’ We are all runners, some just run faster than others. that’s all. I have never met a fake runner.” – Bart Yasso, RW Chief Running Officer and author of My Life on the Run
  • Have a purpose for every run. It will determine your approach to the run and whether you accomplished the goal.
  • A few days without running will not cause any significant loss in physical condition, but you should ease back into your routine.
  • Frozen yogurt from a shop has more live cultures than store bought froyo. As if I needed a reason to eat frozen yogurt on occasion. Please send me reason NOT to eat frozen yogurt.

    saturday's froyo

  • “Between 2006 and 2010, the average marathon entry fee in the US went from $66 to $85.”
  • The average cost of a half-marathon in 2010 was $62, which is up from $46 in 2006.
  • There was also a great article about what to expect from your first half marathon. Perfect for this gal, who just so happens to be training for her first half!
What else did I do with my evening at home… what I love, I cooked. I actually made my favorite baked tofu recipe.
Honey, Sesame Baked Tofu
1 block tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into squares
1 T honey
1 T sesame oil
1 T low sodium soy sauce
1. Mix honey, sesame oil, and soy sauce
2. Marinate tofu for at least 15 minutes
3. Preheat oven to 350
4. Bake on each side for 15 to 20 minutes until crisp on the outside
It is crisp on the outside and you have to actually bite through it. No mush. No gumminess. There is actual chew to this tofu.
When I use this recipe I could eat the entire batch… I never have. But, I am confident I could. Instead I portion it out into servings.
Eating correct portion sizes is what is going to help me save money on groceries, but also continue to lose weight. Though I am not trying to lose weight by any drastic means, I am trying to cut back unnecessary calories here and there.
It was an incredible day when I was able to share with you the day I was officially overweight, instead of being obese. How much more exciting will it be when I get to share that I am once and for all no longer overweight. (I may throw a party… not kidding!)
Until then…
What is your favorite way to use tofu?
What day in the near future are you looking forward to?

5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Cobbler

30 Aug

On Twitter today I saw a recipe that said ” @tesschallis Quick, fat-free, delicious, whole-grain, #vegan blueberry cobbler? Yes, please!”

I immediately thought, quick? Fat free? Whole grain? Could it be?

I checked out the recipe and found it to be true AND I already had all of the ingredients in my fridge. Bonus!

I give you my own little vegan, blueberry cobbler! (Well, it’s Tess’ recipe, but that cobbler below is all mine.)

I actually split the recipe to make only 1/4th because I did not have a pan to make 1/2.  This little pie dish from Crate and Barrel is one of my favorites for tiny desserts.

I did add 1 T of rolled oats for texture (which it did not do) and 1 T flax seeds for a little extra of everything flax seed is good for. Next time I would accomplish texture with buckwheat groats.

I ate it warm, with coconut cream (daily occurrence lately) atop.

I enjoyed every bite!

This recipe was exactly as it said… quick, easy, whole grains, fresh fruit, light, summery… and all without dairy or fat.

Tess Challis this was a great recipe that I WILL make again… strawberry cobbler anyone?!

She has a couple cookbooks out, and I will be adding them to my list of books that I need to get my hands on!

I saw this little quiz over at Beth’s Journey, who found it on Tina’s blog.  I thought I would share a little bit about myself… can you handle it?

5 Words to Describe Myself

  • Random
  • Devoted
  • Determined
  • Observant
  • Eager (which looks really funny when you capitalize it)
My little sister suggested, loud.  Why yes I am, but I was trying to stay a bit more positive. Thanks Veggie Burger!

4 Favorite Foods (no surprises)

  • Bananas
  • Nut butter
  • Smoothies
  • Bread
  • Chocolate

3 Things I am Most Proud of Accomplishing

2 Favorite Workouts

  • Running Intervals – It is painful and hard, but always so rewarding!

1 Thing to Expect from My Blog

  • More… I have a blog to do list the length of my arm.  It is a short arm, but it is still a lengthy list.

Jason, from Cook, Train, Eat, Race, and I have been exchanging emails about some of the things I can do to improve my blog. I really appreciate his input.  Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to help you see things clearly. I also had a great conversation with Clare, of Fitting It All In, last week over Kalachandji’s about blogging.  They both have invested so much into me in the last week. It means so much!

Now you tell me…
Answer one of the 5 questions, so I can know you a little better!  
If you do this little quiz on your blog, please let me know, so I can check it out!
Also, if you don’t follow me on Twitter, I dare say you should!  You can find me at @danikracht!

Kalachandji’s for Dinner

27 Aug

It is the weekend!

Which means, dinner with Clare, a long run, grocery shopping, and a Ranger’s game!

Yesterday’s meals were light because I knew I was going out for dinner with Clare to Kalachandji’s.

Breakfast was consumed at Starbucks, during a 6:30am meeting.  I love early morning productivity!

Overnight oats with half a banana and a couple small sliced strawberries with coconut cream on top. I also had a decaf coffee with soy milk.

Calling all soy drinkers… have you registered a gift card at Starbucks to take advantage of their reward program.  As soon as you register the card you are eligible to get a free drink on your birthday.  After you use a registered gift card 5 times you are a green level member.  Then you get your birthday drink, free soy or syrups, free beverage with 1lb whole bean coffee, and free regular coffee or tea refills in the same visit.  Then there is a gold level where you can earn a free drink every 15 drinks, personalized offers and coupons, and still get all of the other benefits too!

I rarely go to Starbucks, because I do not like to spend a lot of money on coffee.  But, sometimes I meet people there and my registered gift card helps me save  $.60 every time I order soy…because I think that the soy upcharge is ABSURD!  Why Starbucks are you picking on we the lactose intolerant people?

I have been full time in an office for 3 weeks now and all of the sitting is killing me!

So I actually made a perch so that I could stand behind my desk.  I got this idea from Anne who is getting Masters in Nutrition. I love reading her blog, because she reminds me what I am working towards!  As a student and blogger, Anne , has to work on her computer a lot and she puts her computer on her perch to avoid excessive sitting. I stood up most of the morning and loved it!

Lunch was a salad of lettuce, cucumber, red pepper, quinoa, and garbanzo beans withWhole Foods jalapeno hummus.  I also ate an apple.

Last night, Clare and I went to Kalachandji’s. Clare and I met a couple weeks ago when we went to Spiral Dinner together.  She is new to Dallas, so I have been excited to share a couple of my favorite restaurants with her.

Kalachandji’s has been serving vegetarian food to Dallasites for over 28 years, making it Dallas’ oldest veg restaurant.



Kalachandji’s is actually a buffet. Usually, you say the word buffet and I run, but this restaurant is all about freshly prepared food.  They post their menu each day on their website, as it changes daily.


8/26/11 Friday


Yellow Mung Dal Soup
Basmati Rice
Brown Rice
Steamed Veg w/ Lemon Tahini
Mustard Green
Okra & Potato
# Eggplant, Peas & Panir
Jalapeno Pickle
Salad Bar
* Wholewheat & Cinnamon-Raisin Bread


Dinner Also Includes:
#* Spinach Filo
Curried Zucchini
Dal Pakoras w/ Tamarind Chutney


* Vegan Ginger Cookie
# Vanilla Sweet Rice
#* Carob-walnuta  Halvah


# Contains Dairy
* Contains Wheat


I always get a little bit over everything because the menu is different every time I go.  Their fresh cinnamon raisin bread is my personal crack.  I ALWAYS eat a piece.  My favorites were the spinach filo and the okra and potato.  








We had to sit on the beautiful patio, since all of the indoor tables were full or reserved.  They do have fans, so it was actually ok, even though it was over 100 degrees outside. It was actually a beautiful setting to sit and talk with Clare about blogs for as long as we could.
For dessert we got one of each, vanilla sweet rice and carob walnut halvah.  They were both so good!  The halvah was like a lightly sweetened chocolate cake, which paired nicely with the genuinely sweet vanilla rice.

Hanging out with Clare reminds me why it is so important to spend time with people that inspire you, share your passions, and encourage you.  By the time we were leaving I was fire up and ready to take my blog to the next level.

Thanks Clare for a great dinner and encouraging conversation!


Do you like Indian food? I love Indian food, but I ate it for the first time only a year ago.  Now I can’t get enough!

Do you make it at home or only eat it out? Kalachandji’s has cooking classes and I am planning to go to a few!


Spiraling Into Dinner

16 Aug

Today was a whirl wind of a day!

I started with a little spin on my trainer.  I felt pretty unmotivated.  I have really got to hook up the TV in my room that has been unplugged for about 3 months.  I just don’t have time for TV right now.

After 15 minutes I hopped off the bike and put this little diddy in the oven. Then I hoped back on the bike to finish my sweaty work out.

Ashley’s Blueberry Strawberry Coconut Cream Buckwheat Bake

Do you see that cream inside?  That is what happens when you mix coconut flour with almond milk.

I put the strawberries on top of the cream, instead of mixing it in the buckwheat batter.   It was a good choice.  All the sweet goodness was right in the middle!

All day long I had an amazing dinner to look forward to.

Clare from Fitting It All In recently moved to Dallas, and I emailed her a couple weeks ago to see if she would want to have dinner.

We went to one of my favorite restaurants, Spiral Diner.   I love being able to open up a menu and order ANYTHING!

I was really nervous, because this was my very first blogger meet up.  I know from Clare’s blog that she and I both love nutrition.  But, I get so nervous when I meet new people.

Clare was so easy to talk to!  We chatted and ate wonderful vegan food!

I had the blue plate special…

The Fig and Fennel Sandwich

Roasted fennel with grilled red bell peppers, red onions, artichoke hearts and tomatoes served on ciabatta bread with fig preserves and mayo.

The only appropriate way to let it all hang out. 🙂

I would have eaten the bread and fig preserves alone.  This was delicious. Sweet and savory all at the same time on warm ciabatta. Juicy watermelon on the side.

But the conversation was the best of all!  Clare has a beautiful story of her journey to a healthy relationship with food. She’s a graduate of Notre Dame, that is working toward becoming a life coach.  She is also working full time as a retail store manager.  She knows what it means to juggle!  (We have that in common!)

It was so great to spend time with someone who feels just as passionately about food, health, nutrition, and blogging as I do.

I am looking forward to introducing Clare to more of Dallas’ vegetarian/vegan cuisine!

I have to get a move on and pack my lunch and dinner, because I have a long day tomorrow.

My bed is calling me… “You have intervals in the morning… you have to be up at 4:45… you need to sleep.”

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