Healthy Eating: A Love Affair With The Kitchen

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Greetings!

I loved reading your I Believe comments from this morning…what an amazing bunch you are.

I forgot something from my I Believe list this morning…

I Believe…

  • The key to a happy relationship is telling your partner one specific thing you appreciate about them and why, every single day.

 

This applies to all kinds of relationships…romantic, family, friendship, co-workers, etc. Everyone loves to be appreciated!

When I tell Eric something that I appreciate about him I can literally see his entire face light up with pride. Sometimes all someone needs is a ‘I notice what you do and I thank you for it.’ Now, go on and tell someone in your life how much you appreciate them!

In other news, I could not fathom eating anything cooked/hot/heated up today. It was another scorcher! I was cooking myself and needed to be cooled off…

LUNCH:

2 pieces of Eziekel bread with 1 cup of tomato curry chickpeas. I used 1 cup chickpeas + 2-3 tbsp tomato paste + 1/4 tsp Arvinda’s curry masala spice.

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[Ok, ok I lied…the bread was toasted!]

+ Purslane Green Monster made up of 2 cups of Purslane, 1 cup almond milk, 1.5 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp raw maca powder, ice, ice baby. The cinnamon was fabulous and I didn’t even need any fruit! I can’t believe I have not been adding cinnamon to my Green Monsters all this time. I will also be adding some cinnamon to my next batch of Vegan Overnight Oats too. I remember how much I enjoyed it when Eric made me some and I totally forgot about it.

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I am loving Purslane greens in my Green Monsters!

The Purslane is so energizing, largely in part to all the wonderful omega oils and antioxidants it provides. I felt on fire this afternoon and cranked through over 200 Glo Bars baked, packaged, labeled, and boxed up!

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Today is our Plan B CSA day which means scarfing some major veggies to make room for the new box! If you need some motivation to eat more veggies I highly recommend getting a CSA share. Eric and I eat more veggies now than we ever have. Surprisingly, I think we have ended up saving money because we have cut down our grocery store trips by half and we aren’t making those impulse purchases like before.

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Everything But The Kitchen Sink Salad

Ingredients:

  • Greens = Spinach + Mixed greens
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 huge green onion stalk
  • 1.5 cups snow peas
  • Dried parsley, to garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to garnish
  • Better than bottled balsamic vinaigrette 

 

Awesome salad! The snow peas were a nice addition!

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On the side we each had a slice of cold pie…IN A JIFFY VEGGIE PIE!

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I had mine on a bed of TJ’s Habanero and lime salsa.

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It was a great dinner!

Dessert was the last of the Cherry, Banana, and coconut butter bread. I am fighting tears as I type this.

This was the defrosted leftovers and it was even more moist and gooey than before. It was so doughy…I was in love!   

Just look at that gooey bread!

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For Eric, this gooey bread was a texture nightmare. 

He stuck to his ‘dry’ mini loaves that I cooked the hell out of last week (he just loves them though!).

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To each their own.  :tongue:

Healthy Eating: A Love Affair With The Kitchen

15864 319656255570 553395570 9502699 7778800 n thumb   Healthy Eating: A Love Affair With The KitchenRecently, I received an email from a reader named ‘Krista’ telling me about all of these wonderful changes she has made to her health. One of the things that Krista mentioned was that since she has started eating healthier, she spends so much more time in the kitchen prepping vegetables, washing dishes/new appliances, and cooking among other things. She didn’t say that this was a bad thing necessarily, as she enjoys it for the most part, she just thought it was interesting to point out how much more time is required to eat healthy.

Oh did this email hit home with me!

I thought this was such an interesting point about how healthy eating requires not only a commitment to EAT healthier foods, but it involves a commitment to spend the time to prepare healthier foods.

As you can imagine, I spend hours and hours in the kitchen, not only because I run a bakery, but because I prepare and cook most of my meals. Eating healthy is a huge time commitment- there is the washing, drying, chopping, roasting, sautéing, prepping, packing, planning, shopping, DISH WASHING, APPLIANCE WASHING (damn you, juicer!!!!!!), cooking flops (story of my life), etc. Eric always jokes that I should put Professional Dish Washer (P.D.W.) on my resume because I wash so many dishes and so many appliances each day. 

Because my time is limited, I rely on very quick and simple recipes. That is why you will rarely see me whip up a meal that takes longer than 15-20 minutes. Over time, I have figured out what will work for me. While some days the last thing I want to do is prepare a healthy meal for myself, often I enjoy the satisfaction that comes with creating healthy meals that I can feel good about.

Can you relate to having to spend more time in the kitchen to eat healthier? Do you spend more time in the kitchen now than in the past? What are your time-saving tricks to limit the amount of time it takes to eat healthy?

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.  ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

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{ 141 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is July 7, 2010

Eating healthy takes A LOT of work. We prep food ahead of time and on top of that it is expensive. But it IS worth it. It was the number one thing that my clients never wanted to do – prep their food, but it is the best way to stay consistent!

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Jenny July 7, 2010

Healthy eating takes extra effort besides punching some buttons on the microwave, but your body and energy levels will so much appreciate it!

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Lindsay July 7, 2010

So true, I would have to say eating healthy makes me enjoy cooking!

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Marina July 7, 2010

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, preparing my meals, but I don’t mind. I love to cook, and I love to eat healthy foods even more. So it’s a win win situation :)

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nicole @ Making Good Choices July 7, 2010

I spend SO much time in the kitchen and I have a pretty tiny one. I can’t wait to have a house with a larger kitchen so all of my appliances can have a special home! :) Being healthy does require time and money (especially if you eat organic) but the pay off is so worth it!

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Fueling for Fitness July 8, 2010

I’m in the same boat! I have less space on my kitchen counter than on my small desk at work! Oh the joys of living alone in a bachelor apartment. :P

-Alison

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little Aspects July 7, 2010

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen because I make everything from scratch and refuse to eat processed or pre-packaged stuff that has mystery ingredients in it (I do keep emergency organic pasta sauce in the back of the cupboard thought!). I find that because I use a lot of fresh ingredients though, my midweek meals don’t take very long to cook (20-30 mins max) because I want to preserve the flavours of the veggies themselves by not cooking them for too long. I also make soups on the weekend to freeze and have for midweek lunches (or dinner after soccer training which finishes late). Weekends are also time for more involved dinners – pizza dough from scratch, etc.
I also wash my juicer immediately after making juice – before I even drink the juice! This saves time because it cleans really easily when you do it straight away.

I am constantly thinking about food and recipes though! My commutes to work and my runs are just an excuse for me to plan what I’m going to cook with my veggie box delivery for that week!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

haha I am the same way- constantly thinking about new recipes. It is so fun.
I too try to wash my juicer quickly (but after photoshoot and drinking it!). ;) I have left it a couple times and was not a happy camper cleaning it.

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Kristina July 7, 2010

I LOVE all the cooking and baking it takes to eat healthy! I even love washing my vitamix, my food processor and my good pan. :)

Jason cannot stand gooey bread either – he picks up the dog and tells me “cook it until it’s this brown”

:)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

Umm can I hire you? lol

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christina cadden July 7, 2010

Great post!

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Danielle July 7, 2010

Love affair is right! I started eating healthier at school, coincidentally when I lived in my own apartment and was the only one of my housemates that used the kitchen. Now, as I find myself busier and spending more time outside of the house, I’m having some trouble figuring out how to keep up those healthy habits aka lots of greens and vegetables. Even the changes in my physical appearance (weight gain that is minor… but still) aren’t enough to get me back to cook, cook, cookin’ and for some reason, I have not been craving salads all that much. It’s okay though, I guess, because ultimately… I believe that I deserve to be healthy :) no matter what the circumstances. This morning’s post was life-changing, by the way. It just may be my most favorite one yet. Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

Glad you liked the post!
I think you have a great mindset with your current situation. It will work itself out! There are always these ‘blips’ on the radar along the road to health.

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Katie @ Healthy Heddleston July 7, 2010

Eating healthy definitely takes more time and patience to prepare everything. However, eating healthy can be completely simple and quick too–with no preparation at all aside from washing fruits and veggies for snacks. For me, I tend to have 2 big kitchen days where I prep/cut veggies, make a fruit salad, food process some onion and garlic for the week, and bake about 2 dozen muffins for breakfasts. Doing these things help make other days easier and quicker.

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Cara July 7, 2010

I try my best to cook healthy meals every night for dinner, but the reality is is that sometimes, specifically here in Korea, it is a lot cheaper to go out and eat than it is to buy groceries. So going out for a quick meal is quite tempting on those days when I am tired. On a positive note, Korean cuisine is quite healthy, so I can’t complain too much.

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Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) July 7, 2010

I spend a lot more time in the kitchen now that I am blogging!!!! Eating healthy means more time in the kitchen, but I LOVE it!! The kitchen is one of my favourite places to be :-)

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highonhealthy July 7, 2010

I definitely spend more time in the kitchen but.. I love it! Cooking and baking happen to be something that I find enjoyable and that I’m naturally good at so any time in the kitchen is lovely. A dirty little secret of mine is that.. I … actually enjoy washing and drying dishes! It’s relaxing and lets me unwind – putting music on makes it even better. The only thing is that I wish I was more creative in the kitchen instead of always following recipes.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

I need to start playing music when I wash dishes!

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Candice July 7, 2010

While I wouldn’t say the kitchen is my favorite place to be…I do enjoy it more than I used to! Either way it’s worth the extra time and effort to feel good about my health!

I almost always cook up more than I can eat in a sitting so that I can have leftovers in the fridge. It’s so nice to just walk in and heat up leftovers when I’m feeling especially tired…or especially busy!

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Jae July 7, 2010

Angela, I have a question that I hope you wont mind answering.
It’s completely out of the blue but you mentioned earlier on in your blog days that Eric isnt a vegan. I was wondering, does he eat meat with his coworkers or something? or will he ask you to prep a bit of meat on the side for him?
Sorry, I just randomly thoguht about this and had to ask. :) Hope you dont mind

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

Yup he still eats meat once and a while…he goes out to eat every day at work and will have meat once a week or so maybe. Also he also BBQ’s meat on the grill when he gets the craving.

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Crystal @ West Coast Peach July 7, 2010

It does take more time to eat healthy meals, but it is so worth it. So many bad for you foods are prepackaged and ready to eat or cook (think: frozen food aisle, Pop tarts, instant noodles). If you want a balanced meal it takes effort to combine all those ingredients. I could throw a frozen dinner in the oven, wait 30 minutes, wash one cookie sheet or I could pull out a pot and make my own mashed potatoes, baked chicken, and whatever veggie I wanted. Not to mention most of those tv dinners have corn as the veggie. Corn is tasty but there are much more nutritious options out there if you just make the meal yourself.

I love cooking my own meals but I have to agree about the dishes. SO MANY DISHES!! Arthur always gasps and asks “Where did they all come from!?” I told him I have to do dishes everyday or else there just becomes too many and he thought I was crazy. Good to know I’m not alone! ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

If you saw my kitchen sink/dishwasher you’d think the Brady Bunch lived here! lol

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Robyn @ Frugal 'n' Fit! July 7, 2010

I definitely spend more time in the kitchen now that I’m eating healthier. I find I like one-pot meals like stews and chili. Of course, this time of year isn’t the best for those, but that hasn’t stopped me!

One thing I love about preparing my own food is the financial savings. I try calculating the costs of meals and they are usually just a couple of dollars each if that! Compared to a restaurant meal (which, for a vegetarian, often means pasta), it’s like 20% of the cost. That warms my frugal heart :)

Ok, next time I bake the Coconut Cherry Banana bread, I am intentionally under-baking it. Yours looks amazing!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

mmmm cant wait to hear how you like it!

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Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life July 7, 2010

Since starting my blog back in April, it’s amazing how different my eating and food prep have changed. Suddenly, I’m held accountable for the foods that I’m eating, so I better make them look tasty! And whereas I used to often just grab a quick yogurt & granola bar for breakfast on the go – totally a thing of the past. But honestly, I can’t even imagine going back! Yes, eating healthy does take extra work for sure, but it’s worth every minute. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

I can relate to this so much. The blog has totally transformed the way I eat, cook, display, etc.

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JL Goes Vegan July 7, 2010

Yes! I spend more time in the kitchen but I cook in bulk on Sundays and just reheat or eat cold the rest of the week. I like the creative space and time for cooking but during the week I’m tired and I need a quick, healthy meal.

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Shanna @ Shanna Like Banana July 7, 2010

Yes! Eating healthier often does mean more time in the kitchen, but if you know you are going to eat many veggie filled meals throughout the week, it’s easiest to cut them all up on Sunday and parse them out in tupperware containers so you’re ready to go. Tofu meals are always much faster than meat, which is great as well :)

Oh and the best part of being in the kitchen longer, is that nice glass of wine I drink while cooking!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

I need to start adding some wine to my cooking…hehe

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Shanna @ Shanna Like Banana July 8, 2010

YES! It’s such an enjoyable ‘me’ time and I feel like once I relax I allow myself to think more out of the box and usually end up with some pretty fun recipes!

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Ericka July 7, 2010

I definitely spend a lot of time in the kitchen each night. My schedule can be kind of crazy in grad school, so there are times when I prep my entire next day’s worth of food to take with me. People ask me if I get tired of prepping food each night…I actually love it! It’s my time of the day to just space out while I cut, prep, and wash. It’s almost therapeutic. And it’s SO worth it to have fresh, healthy options on hand the next day. Funny, those same people who ask me if I get tired of prepping food are usually also the first ones to comment how good all of my meals look! :)

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Laura July 7, 2010

I just finished balancing full time work and full time grad school and often had to prep a full day’s worth of food, too. I enjoyed it, like you, and also found it to be a great way to ensure I ate a well-balanced diet each day since you had to look at it all at once!

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Kerry July 7, 2010

It’s funny, as much as I love cooking, I do sometimes get tired of being in the kitchen. Especially when I am putting together 2-3 meals to pack the following day. What gets me through the tough days is knowing that the food I’ve prepared tastes so much better than what I could purchase, not to mention it’s healthier and cheaper. I also try to remind myself that the small good choices I make really do add up!

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman July 7, 2010

Oh, giant salads are my favorite dinner. I just wish I didn’t eat them all at once because for a week I’m left without veggies!

I definitely cook more now than ever before. Right out of college it was pasta and that’s it. Minimal dishes and minimal time. I enjoy eating healthier now though!

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Becki @ HikeBikeEat July 7, 2010

I’ve discovered that I LOVE chopping veggies, ever since I got my new Wusthof knife. It’s almost like going into a calm, meditative state with ever zucchini that lands on my cutting board.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

Eric loves chopping too!

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Kali July 7, 2010

I definitely spend more time in the kitchen than before. Not just because I’m eating healthier, but because I’m actually cooking too. I used to grab fast food or heat up something in the microwave all of the time. But now, I actually enjoy spending time in the kitchen and taking the time to cook healthy meals.

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Kaleigh@ the part time dieter July 7, 2010

Hells Yes! I spend soo much more time in the kitchen now that I am eating healthier. For me, I decided to start eating healthy for health related reasons and to lose weight. So for the moment I am counting calories. It is a pesky job, and one that I lose track of quickly – because the amount of time I spend measuring out and weighing food before I create a dish is redonkulous. That being said – it has made me eat more and more vegetables because I don’t bother weighing those (when 100 grams of carrots is only 50 calories – why bother).

at the end of the meal I swear I spend more calories from all the dish washing and cleaning up than the actual meal is.

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Lisa (BBB) July 7, 2010

The kitchen is by far my favourite room in the house. It is where I go when I am happy and wanting to bake! It is also where I go when I am stressed / sad and wanting to bake :)

Lucky for us we are building a new house and I was able to design the kithen from scratch! My old kitchen was so small and cramped – I am so so excited about our new and improved kitchen to come!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

wow I must see pics of your new kitchen!

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Jessica @ The Process of Healing July 7, 2010

That salad looks SO GOOD!! SO very refreshing. And I’m definitely making that bread, I love gooeyness.

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Laura (youngDCliving) July 7, 2010

Even though it’s expensive, I definitely feel that buying bagged/washed mixed greens and salads is a HUGE time saver. I would hate washing lettuce every day and I really think it would make me eat less, so in my mind, the lack of effort involved in being able to make a salad ends up not only being a huge time saver, but also a healthy bonus! :)

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Maissa July 7, 2010

I agree! I definitely spend a lot more time in the kitchen since I started eating better, but I think that’s a good thing. Living a healthy lifestyle is about change in lifestyle, and I think one of the most important things in any healthy lifestyle isn’t so much what you eat but your awareness of it.

I think that by playing with food, by throwing weird vegetables into the cart, shopping at farmer’s markets and joining CSAs etc, we become more conscious consumers. We learn about local food chains, and we learn to take pride in the food we eat. Fresh food takes longer to prepare, but that’s what we used to do. Historically humans have spent a lot longer in the kitchen than we do now, and they had fewer problems with obesity, heart disease etc.

In the Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food Michael Pollan urges us to eat the way our grandmother did, not, to paraphrase, because she was smarter, but because it was what she knew. Home-cooked meals, sitting down to eat, taking the time to value food.

We put time into things we value, and food is something that, in my opinion, ought to be valued, therefore the time we dedicate to it is worth it. So I spend an hour less sitting around on the couch, I’ll take it. Furthermore, if I know I’m having a super busy week, I pre-cut and package things into single-serving baggies. Saves a TON of time.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

I love this comment…thank you! You spoke to my thoughts exactly. It is the same theme with the price of healthy food- since when did we put so little value on our food and expect it to be so cheap? I get an email from the farmer’s at the plan B CSA each week and they are in those fields sweating buckets working their butts off in the field just so we can have lettuce, and onions, and tomatos, etc! Farmers are SO undervalued.

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Bree July 7, 2010

HAHAHA…I’m ALWAYS begging Warren to clean the juicer after we make juice.

“Well…I made the juice…so you have to clean the juicer…” as if it was terribly difficult. :-P

hahaha too funny

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

LOL!!!!!!!! Oh yes juicing is soooo hard. hehe ;p That is funny.

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Lauren @ Eater not a runner July 7, 2010

I don’t think you have to spend THAT much more time in the kitchen to eat healthy. I just have a lot of fruits and veggies at all times that can be made into salads or roasted up. But you can roast veggies in bulk for the week and make multiple salads at once, that’s what I do!

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Charlie@CharlieGirlBlog July 7, 2010

I just sent my husband a nice text after reading this…what a sweet reminder :) I also spend waaay more time in the kitchen/doing dishes since I’ve started to eat so fresh and so clean. As long as I have a Pandora station blaring, it’s all good!

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Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/ July 7, 2010

I think there’s a balance to eating healthy and time spent in the kitchen. There are ways to make quicker dinners that are still healthy along with other meals. Also with cooking healthy usually you start to want to cook other things, experimentation takes time in the kitchen.

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Delilah July 7, 2010

Hi Angela,
I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now & it’s a constant source of motivation for me! Just wanted to tell you that I love cinnamon in my VOO (also in my fav. hot oatmeal combo). I add 1/2 tsp cinnamon to my VOO mix that goes in the fridge. Then layer with the PB Banana Soft Serve. I love the combo to the peanut butter/banana/cinnamon.
Yum!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

Wow thank you, will try this tomorrow!

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Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine July 7, 2010

It definitely takes more time to eat healthy, but I think the effort definitely pays off. If you rely only on convenience food, chances are you might get sick somewhere along the line and spend lots of time in a hospital. The way I see things, it’s either spend now or spend later. I’d rather spend the time now so I am healthy and happy. :)

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Sara July 7, 2010

I recommend a little dried ginger in the green monsters along with cinnamon; really gets the juices flowing!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

mmmm sounds delicious

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Rhea a.k.a. Greek Feaster July 7, 2010

Story of my life! Some days I feel like all I do is wash food, chop food, shove food in my mouth and wash dishes. Wash, chop, shove, wash. Repeat. That said, it IS worth it– especially if you have a friend or beau to keep you company in the kitchen :) I swear that my meals taste better when I enjoy them with someone else, and having a buddy to chat with while washing dishes makes the work feel less like a chore. I do want to try to get better at preparing things at the beginning of the week. With three roommates, though, it’s hard to reserve fridge space for that long!
Also (and this is probably the more corn-ball thing I have ever typed in blog-land), I love reading about your relationship with Eric. It really warms my heart that you two have each other because I can really tell that you treasure the other and your time together. Ok, end cheesiness. :D

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2010

aww thank you! Im cheesey too so no worries, lol

I love this:

” Some days I feel like all I do is wash food, chop food, shove food in my mouth and wash dishes. Wash, chop, shove, wash. Repeat”

Umm yup! I say as a vegan all I do is eat.

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Daniel July 7, 2010

I find myself in the kitchen more often than any other room in the house! I love cooking and it really helps me relax and relieve stress just by preparing a meal. If I could, I would spend a day or two just cooking and eating! But I get full and have to stop at some point. :P

I find that it does take extra time to prepare and chop and clean things as well but it’s worth it in the long run – your food isn’t only going to taste better but it’s going to be better for you. Plus there’s an amazing sense of accomplishment when you make an awesome dish that you and others enjoy!

The only complaint I have is I find it’s difficult to do when I’m in the dorms because of homework and having to run to the 3rd floor (I live on the 4th) to use the kitchen. Other than that, it’s all worth it to me.

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Maya July 7, 2010

Yes, I definitely do agree that healthy eating often takes more time. Often the most important things in life take extra effort, but are ultimately worth it in the long run. I do enjoy cooking, so at least there’s that!

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