Bones

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Hi.  Happy Friday!  :D  One more week of school to go.  Lots of holiday parties coming up, and the kids are counting down the days until Christmas.  O is at such a fun age for this time of year.  I love being able to re-experience the magic of Christmas through my kids.  I also love being able to remind them that Santa only brings presents to well-behaved children.  ;)

A few days before Thanksgiving I had a bone density scan done.  I participated in a research study at school that required me to track my food intake and record my physical activity for three days, and in return I would get a full-body scan by a big scary machine and a complete nutritional analysis.  Yesterday I got the bone density scan results back, and they are fascinating!

That’s my skeleton!  Like, my actual skeleton!  Wild, eh?  It looks so… skeleton-y.  And thanks to this semester’s anatomy and physiology class, I can name almost all of my bones.  I have mad bone identifying skills, yo.

Anyway, the important thing is that my bones are in great shape.  You can see on the graph that even if I experience the “normal” amount of bone loss as I age, I will still be well above the danger zones for osteopenia and osteoporosis.  I credit my stellar bone density to regular weight lifting (weight-bearing exercises stress your bones, so they strengthen and build up in response).  I was really excited to see these results!

The machine also measured my body composition:

CRAZY!

I carry all of my fat in my lower half, clearly.  (I knew that already.)

I should be getting the nutritional analysis back in the next week, and I will post my food and exercise log here along with the results.  I find this all to be incredibly interesting, and I’m sure you do, too.  ;)

Here’s what I’ve been eating lately…

Monday night I made FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Split Pea Soup.

My favorite soups are ones that need to bubble on the stove top for an hour or two.  This recipe was incredibly easy to make- just chop a bunch of veggies and dump everything into a pot- and it made the house smell awesome!

The bad thing about soup is that I always underestimate how hot it’s going to be and how long it’s going to take to cool off, and I end up scorching my taste buds because I am hungry.  (Also?  IMPATIENT.  Working on that, though.)

Anyway, I had this again last night and it was even better having thickened up in the fridge:

I plan on freezing the rest and having it again sometime next week.  This recipe was a definite win.  I’m anxious to try more recipes from the FFVK blog now.  :D

Random dinner pic:

Tuesday’s leftover lentil loaf, roasted brussels sprouts and a baked sweet potato with Earth Balance.  Delish.

Breakfasts…

Raspberry-cacao oatmeal!  I had some frozen raspberries that needed to be used, so I added them to my last serving of this make-ahead steel-cut oatmeal along with a little stevia, agave nectar and some cacao nibs.

I love the flavor of raspberries, but I hate those pesky seeds.  Same goes for blackberries.  This was really tasty despite the need to dig 125469985 tiny seeds out from between my teeth afterward.

Speaking of make-ahead breakfasts, Tuesday I was feeling energetic after taking my last a&p lab practical (YES!), so I decided to make Mama Pea’s Pumpkin Cream Pie Oat Bran (from her cookbook).

I had some oat bran on hand from making these muffins a few weeks back, and I’ve been wanting to try it for breakfast.  I love hot cereal, but I hate cooking it in the morning when I’m usually hungry and rushed.  Taking half an hour once a week to whip up a few servings definitely makes weekday breakfasts much easier.

This oat bran is sooo good!  You just heat up some canned pumpkin, water, spices, sweetener and almond milk and bring to a boil.  Stir in the oat bran, cook for a few minutes until thick and creamy, and that’s it!  Way faster than oatmeal, and I really like the texture of oat bran.  Good stuff.  I’ve been topping my Pumpkin Cream Pie Oat Bran with banana slices, a drizzle of agave nectar and cashew butter.

I’m on a mission to gain five pounds!  Okay, maybe not, but you would think differently based on the rate at which I have consumed the following:

Mama Pea’s Pumpkin Spice Bars.

Man, I tested a batch on Tuesday evening because I wanted to bring them to a holiday party this weekend, and they’re almost gone 4 days later.  I have had a giant piece every night since.  I am definitely making a double batch of these bars to bring to the party on Saturday.  They are so good you might cry!

There’s a touch of garam masala in this recipe, and it really lends a nice earthy warmth to the final product.  The cake isn’t overly sweet, so it pairs perfectly with the rich, thick  (vegan) cream cheese icing.

Heh, icing boobs.

One is even bigger than the other!  Very realistic.  :p

These bars are so moist that you have to eat them with a fork.  I’m kind of hoping that no one at the party likes them so I can have a giant piece every night until next year.

(Better pics of these bars over on Mama Pea’s blog.  Better yet, watch her make them on Everyday Dish tv!)

Next week’s menu is nothing new.  I’ll be making two of my favorite butternut squash recipes for the second time, both from Oh She Glows:

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheeze

Red Lentil and Squash Curry Stew

I’ll also eat more of that leftover split pea soup.  And if I’m not in a pumpkin spice bar coma, maybe I’ll finally get around to making these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cups.  (Freaking YUM.)

Have you eaten anything amazing lately?  What is your favorite dish or snack to bring to holiday parties?

Have a great weekend!  See ya later with party pics and the best White Elephant gift ever;)

xo,

S.

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