If you were reading our blog posts back in September, you might remember that we wrote about being plant-strong athletes, and specifically covered Tara and Craig’s triathlon race. Last week, they took on their next athletic endeavor: the marathon!
For the past four months, Tara and Craig had been training for their first marathon. As you may have read in our recent morning workout post, we prefer to exercise with, or before, the sunrise. Tara and Craig were up at 6am every day doing hill workouts, mile repeats, fartleks, distance runs, and pool workouts. Sunday, May 5, (right smack dab in the middle of finals week), was the day they had been eagerly anticipating all semester. RACE DAY!!
They loved it. Running a marathon was the most exhausting physical exertion that they had ever put their bodies through, but also one of the most fun and definitely the most exhilarating things they have ever done. As the saying goes, “pain is temporary, but pride is forever”—totally true, totally worth it. After three hours and forty nine minutes of running through the “City of Bridges,” Tara and Craig crossed the finish line, plant-powered victors. The notorious 26.2 had been conquered
Both Jenna and Craig’s dads also ran the Pittsburgh marathon that day! Craig’s dad, Roy, was also a first-timer to the race, and finished with an awesome time of 4:16! Jenna’s dad, Gary, was the experienced marathoner of the bunch. But this was his first time running a race since going plant-based, and he PR-ed with a (boston qualifying!!) time of 3:19!! WOOHOO plant power!!!
You’re all probably wondering what we ate to fuel for the race. During training, we just ate our typical plant-based meals and snacks (no extra protein or special “superfoods”), and based our intake levels on appetite. During distance runs (longer than 15 miles), we fueled with either medjool dates or bananas. The night before the race, we had “E2 black beans and rice extravaganza” (swapping out water chestnuts for diced mango) to power up for the big day, and in the morning we had big bowls of oatmeal topped with fresh fruit! During the marathon, we passed by all of the “gu” and Gatorade stations and went for the water, and carried a few dates along that we had packed from home.
For the race, Tara and Roy both wore their “No Meat Athlete” shirts to sport their plant-passionate enthusiasm This was really fun because not only did it promote the plant-strong lifestyle, but it also enabled others in the plant-based community to come together and support one another. They both got lots of shout-outs from the crowd, and from fellow runners as well!
Overall, the race was an exciting and exhilarating experience, and an amazing accomplishment. And we’re already looking forward to the next big race!
You don’t need animal-products to be a good athlete. In fact, by fueling with plants, you can be an even better athlete! Plants provide optimal nutrition, no exceptions. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Case closed
ALL HAIL THE KALE!
-The College Greens
There is no reason for a plant-based lifestyle to bring added stress to your life! Here are a few tips to help you keep things high-health and low-hassle
1. Plan ahead
Sticky situations are bound to happen from time to time, but thankfully, with a little planning ahead of time, you can avoid or easily navigate them when they do pop up. Things like always keeping snacks in the car (fruit travels well, E2 crisp breads or baked potatoes are also solid options, etc) or packing your lunch the night before can help keep your prepared for the day’s events.
2. Cook in bulk
We live in a busy world. Many of us don’t have the time to cook up a full meal each night when we get home. However, this doesn’t mean that you aren’t able to have a home-cooked meal every night—You can!! And bulk-cooking helps make this happen. Pick one night (Sunday is often a good choice) that you will cook for the week. Make one or two entrees. (They don’t have to be elaborate or in-depth!) Divide the food up into storage containers and keep them in the freezer. During the week, you can pull them out and reheat whenever you’re ready for dinner!! And, of course, lunch can be leftovers as well if you want! You can also cook up big batches of single items like potatoes or rice, and use them in various ways throughout the week to switch things up. Have a stir-fry over rice one night, and the next night use the rice in home-made veggie burgers! Cook in bulk, and be creative
3. Get into a routine
When you have a routine, you reduce the amount of mental exertion that has to go into things. Establish a pattern of cooking and eating that fits your lifestyle and minimizes stress (planning ahead and cooking in bulk can help make this happen). It might take a little extra effort at first, but once you have a routine in place, eating this way will become second nature. Your auto-pilot settings will keep you on track without any struggle, making things run smoothly.
4. Not all packaged foods are bad!
Packaged foods are lumped into one big, “bad” category. But some packaged foods are actually wholesome options! Plus, they can often make your life a lot easier. Things like frozen veggies or canned beans can save you valuable time in the kitchen! Here’s a list of Jeff Novick’s Top 10 Healthiest Packaged Foods And if you have access to a Whole Foods Market, Engine 2 has a new food line of delicious and nutritious plant-strong products like hummus, crisp breads, tortillas, cereal, almond milk, frozen grain medleys, and more!
5. Stick to the basics
Don’t underestimate the good taste of a no-recipe meal. Pick a bean, a green, and a grain (or starch!) and you’re good to go! Top with salsa, mustard, a little Bragg’s liquid aminos, some balsamic vinegar, or spices. Things don’t need to be intricate to taste delicious! Also, be resourceful; use what you have. You might be surprised to find out that atypical combinations of foods actually pair well together! Stick to the basics as the foundation for your meals, and you’ll save time without sacrificing taste!
6. Befriend a rice cooker or crock pot
As we said in our rice cooker post, this kitchen gadget just may be your new best friend. It’s so versatile, and always cooks your grains to perfection. A crock pot may also help simplify your life. Both appliances allow you to make dinner ahead of time, and require much less attention. You can prepare the ingredients, press a button, and return later to a complete meal, all ready to go!
This week, The College Greens are sharing the story of Jenna’s roommate (Karla)’s mom, Veda! After suffering a minor heart attack she decided to make the switch to a whole foods, plant-based diet. She is inspiring proof of how easy this lifestyle is. We’re very proud of Veda!
“I’m a 56-year old woman who 8 weeks ago suffered a minor heart attack. I have been following Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s diet for reversing coronary heart disease for 7 weeks now. Here is my story.
I have been slightly overweight most of my adult life and have never exercised regularly. And I ate whatever I wanted, quite regularly foods very high in fat and not much fruit or vegetables. But I considered myself a healthy person. I felt this way, because I rarely get sick, and I feel in generally good health, not suffering from any aches or pains. In fact, my regular blood tests have never shown any problems with my cholesterol levels. My good cholesterol has always been over 60, and my bad cholesterol has only in recent years crept above 90. I have been on high blood pressure medicine, though, for 3 years. It had regularly been at the 140/90 level, but it has been well-managed since I’ve been on medication.
Having my heart attack made me face the reality that I needed to make changes in my life or I would be likely to suffer another one with worse results. I found out that I had 3 blocked arteries, at 100%, 80%, and 60%. The artery with the 100% blockage was opened by balloon and a stent was inserted. And I have been put on a medication regimen including aspirin, Plavix, a beta-blocker, and a statin. I was also given educational materials from the American Heart Association about heart healthy eating.
I left the hospital, though, not having a clear plan of how I would improve my health. My daughter (Karla)’s friend, Jenna, gave her Dr. Esselstyn’s book “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” to pass on to me. After reading the book, I felt convinced that it was sound reasoning backed up by proof on how coronary heart disease could be reversed solely through diet. I grabbed on to this, because it appealed to me in 2 main regards: 1) the diet is very simple – it is very easy to know what and what not to eat, and 2) I would not be required to exercise. I have always found it difficult to make time in my life for regular exercise, although, I like incorporating walking where I can.
I am very lucky that my husband was equally enthusiastic about changing our diets. And so we decided to try to follow Dr. Esselstyn’s diet to the letter. This has made meal preparation easy – I think it would have been somewhat difficult had my husband not wanted to follow the diet also. And together we’re giving each other a lot of support and encouragement. My husband has been exercising regularly for at least 10 years, and he is very happy now to take these big steps in improving his diet. Without any specific effort to reduce the quantity of food we eat, we have both lost 7 – 10 pounds already. I’ve just been scheduled for my first blood work and stress test since my heart attack and am anxious to see if there has been any improvement in my heart condition and cholesterol levels. We can see that this diet can’t be anything less than much healthier than we ate before, and we feel we’ll be able to stick with it for the long haul.”
Update (6 weeks later): “I found out from my doctor that my blood test showed that my cholesterol levels were good, but the stress test showed that blood flow to part of my heart is still poor. I wasn’t discouraged by this news. I think it will take time to reverse the damage done by so many years of unhealthy eating. This is all the more reason for me to stay dedicated to the plant-based diet. At 13 weeks and counting, I have lost almost 15 pounds, and my husband and I are greatly appreciating the taste of many fruits and vegetables. It hasn’t been difficult sticking with the diet, because there are so many healthy options to choose from, and we are finding that our local Giant Eagle and other grocery stores in the area offer many food items that meet the requirements of the diet. In general, we are enjoying good eating more than ever!”
Karla’s Thoughts: “As Jenna’s college roommate, never was I more thankful that Jenna followed a whole-foods, plant-based diet (and in turn became educated about the diet) than when my mom (Veda) had a minor heart attack this past January. I didn’t know what the future had to hold after this event, because I didn’t know if my mom would make any lifestyle/diet changes that seemed necessary at this point. She’s a stubborn person, but thanks to Jenna’s resources of whole food, plant-based diet books, it took just two days of my mom reading to become convinced that she had to follow this diet. In today’s society, we hear daily of the newest fads and trends in diets. The fact that there are no “if’s”, “and’s”, “but’s” or catches with this diet was so encouraging and has made me hopeful. I love going home to see the pantry and fridge completely redone with whole, plant-based foods and knowing that my mom is doing the best thing she can do to improve her health!”
Everybody already knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And if it isn’t convincing enough that this age-old piece of advice has been passed down from generations yonder, the claim has spurred plenty of scientific research to help it hold its ground. In fact, you can probably rattle off the facts as well as we can: from improving report cards at school and productivity at the workplace to kickstarting our metabolisms and our good moods, breakfast packs an awful lot of positivity.
So why are we addressing this already-beaten-into-the-ground topic? Well, for starters, because we believe in it. And because of one key benefit of breakfast that often goes unrecognized: breakfast is a beginning. Each and every day.
Here’s another one that you already know: you are what you eat. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again (we believe in this one too). And if it’s true in general, it’s especially true for breakfast. Because when it comes to breakfast, what you eat isn’t just what you are, it’s what you’ll become for the day. The food you wake up to sets the precedent for the sixteen-or-so hours to come. If you take the time to eat something that you care about, a breakfast that’s uplifting and invigorating, that feeling stays with you throughout the day. If, on the other hand, you try and exchange a little extra shut eye for a breakfast that’s easy and unfulfilling (or, worse yet, no breakfast at all), that feeling stays with you too.
While there’s no surefire way to secure a good day, it’s safe to say that you can either enter a day on the inside – attentive, upbeat and interactive – or you can enter a day from the outside – detached, downcast and wishing to get back to your bed to get it over with. Consider breakfast as your invitation inside.
And with that, we’re proud to present to you the College Greens’ Guidelines for Breakfasting:
1) Eat something stimulating. No, your cup of coffee doesn’t cut it. Get your senses going for the day with a mouthwatering morning! Unless you’re an early bird, the mornings can be one big, hurried chore. But if you know a scrumptious something is on its way, you have at least one fantastic reason to get out of bed! So push the alarm back, make a new routine, and give yourself time to thoroughly enjoy your breakfast. Prepare it the night before if you’re looking to save time (such as pre-mixing some Rip’s Big Bowl cereal, making overnight oats or a rice cooker meal). While you’re eating, pay attention to each bite – the flavors, the textures… Before you know it, your taste buds will be in party mode, your body will be tuned in to the world around you, and your belly will be nice and full, ready for the day to come.
2) Eat something energizing. Once again, your cup of coffee doesn’t cut it. It may not seem like your body is doing much while you sleep, but sure enough, it’s undergoing a quiet recovery from the day before and prepping your systems for the day that’s on its way. This means that even after a refreshing night’s sleep, your body could still use an energy-rich meal to jumpstart the day. As always, sugary, processed foods are not the way to go here, however convenient they may be. Choose fruits, leafy greens and whole grains to get the boost that doesn’t fade out by midmorning. But don’t be intimidated by thinking that you have to go through the hassle of cooking up an involved meal – a breakfast of regular oats with frozen fruit and a handful of fresh greens is quick source for long-lasting energy.
3) Eat something healthful. It can be easy to convince yourself in the morning rush that you can skimp on breakfast and eat better when you have the time to do so. What your groggy state of mind might not realize is that your breakfast sets the pace for the rest of your meals. Start with a healthy, hearty breakfast and you’ll be right on track to eat well the rest of the day.
4) Eat something creative. Don’t get us wrong – we are undeniably creatures of habit. But we also understand that you need to pick your habits carefully. To eat breakfast each day, at the same time, perhaps in the same place… we thrive off of this kind of regularity. But to eat the same thing every day? There’s a fine line between constancy and stagnancy. Don’t get stuck in the confines of “breakfast foods.” Last night’s leftovers are never off limits! When preparing meals, consider cooking extra grains or vegetables that you can keep separate and add to future meals; for example, leave some brown rice on the side for a breakfast tofu scramble, or some extra sweet potato for your morning oatmeal. And remember that little changes can make a big difference! Adding mango and blueberries to your oatmeal one day gives your morning a completely different feel than adding strawberries and bananas, or apples and cinnamon, or cacao powder and walnuts… and that’s only a few to get you started!
A wise man will tell you that all great deeds depend on the little things. We’re here to remind you that the little thing he was talking about is breakfast.
-The College Greens (a.k.a. “The BreakFEAST Club”)
Through our internship with Engine 2 Diet, we were recently introduced to the famous Happy Herbivore, Lindsay Nixon!! We’ve read her blog, made her recipes, and seen her give presentations, and she is just an all-around awesome person She’s been a driving force in the plant-based movement, helping to make the lifestyle more accessible for many people. Lindsay shows readers how eating plant-based can be simple, affordable, fun, and delicious, all at the same time!
Here’s our interview with her!
1. What was your inspiration/motivation to go plant-based?
I grew up a vegetarian out of a love for animals. When I was about 7 I saw a cow as I was eating a hamburger, put it together and that was it. Due to peer pressure (and family pressure) I lapsed back to the SAD diet in my teens and my health declined immediately — acne, stomach issues, weight-gain, migraines, etc. Of course, my doctor attributed it all to “puberty” not my dietary change.
Then in my early 20′s I had a serious health scare. I decided to return back to the vegetarian diet of my childhood, hoping it would help me make healthier choices. It did. I started feeling better and losing some of the weight. Around the same time I went vegetarian again, I also started reading about health and nutrition. The more I read, the more I knew what I had to do, and about a year after being vegetarian, I eliminated all animal products – no more dairy and eggs. That’s when I started to see real improvements.
I also continued reading and researching, and a few months later I eliminated processed foods (vegan junk food), oil, and really became plant-strong! I’ve followed a low fat, whole foods, plant-based diet ever since.
2. What was it like being an herbie in law school? What, if anything, did you do differently then than you do now?
I went from SAD to plant-based during law school and it the difference was undeniable. I was no-longer chronically fatigued, drinking cup after cup of coffee to stay awake in class, study, go to work, etc. I didn’t need it anymore. I also slept better. My grades improved. I was more alert and attentive in class.
My moods became more stable (previously the stress and pressure made me into a sort of ticking time bomb) and most importantly, my crippling migraines all but vanished.
“Vegan” and “Plant-Based” was really unknown back then, so I was all alone. I was also living in a city that prides itself on seafood and meat, so I couldn’t eat out, even if I wanted to. All the convenience “vegan” foods you see at the store now, also did not exist, for which I’m kinda grateful.
I had to learn how to cook (which turned about to be a blessing! Happy Herbivore would not have existed!) and I also had to be very diligent about packing my lunch and dinner, getting up with enough time to make breakfast before class or work. I had to cook and plan a lot, but ultimately my health and my wallet really benefited!
Today, it’s not as hard to be plant-based or healthy out in the world… There is still room for improvement, of course, but overall I find it’s a lot easier than it was back then. No matter where I am, I find people know what “vegan” or “plant-based” is — a sign of change!
3. So… you move a LOT. Where’s your favorite place that you’ve lived so far? Do you ever think you’ll settle down and stay in one place?
I haven’t found anywhere I liked enough to stay, I guess. Every place I have lived has had things about it that I really liked (and miss) and things I didn’t care for (and am happy to be free of). I always knew I wanted to live freely and be able to travel and explore the world and it’s cultures. I wanted to be “mobile” so I’ve made a lot of sacrifices and I worked really hard for a lot of years to be able to be mobile. The great thing about being an adult is that you get to choose how you want to live, even if your choice is not following the norm. I embrace the art of nonconformity I truly believe I’m living the life I was meant to lead.
4. If you had to describe a perfect day of meals, what would it be?
It depends on the season and where I am. I love mango, for example, and watermelon — how I love watermelon! But as I’m watching the snow fall here in Tahoe, I don’t want either those foods right now That said, I’m all for kale all day and at every meal!
5. Why was the elephant your herbivore of choice for your logo?
6. When you were younger, were you in the kitchen cooking a lot? What inspired you to write cookbooks?
Oh heck no. When I left for college I didn’t even know how to boil water to make pasta. When I changed my diet, I had to learn how to cook and I’m not ashamed to stay there was a lot of trial and error. Somewhere along the way I fell deeply in love with cooking. I started my blog, happyherbivore.com, back in 2007 and my goal was to show how easy, affordable and delicious eating healthy, plant-based meals can be. My cookbooks are just an extension of that.
7. Your next book comes out this December (YAY!!), can you tell us what the theme for this one will be?
Happy Herbivore Light & Fit. This is by far my most personal book yet and I really enjoyed writing it. It’s mostly a cookbook — the same style you’ve come to know with my previous books: easy, no fuss, fast recipes with everyday ingredients, no oil, plant-strong, but this time I was also mindful of calories (hence “light”) and creating recipes that really fill you up. I embraced the “more food, less calories” concept, and plants make that so easy! I also added a fitness section in the back (hence “fit”) — taking a whole body approach to this lifestyle.
Although I lost the weight, and kept it off, with diet alone, I’ve found that moving my body — even if just for a few minutes in the living room, has been beneficial for my mind, body and soul. Exercise — even light exercise — has so many benefits beyond outward appearances, and I want to encourage people to move more — even just 5 minutes a day will have far reaching effects on your total health.
What I also love about this book is that I think it will attract people who maybe aren’t already vegan, vegetarian or plant-strong. I’m hoping it’ll reach a new audience, that will suddenly find themselves eating more plant-based meals and feeling food.
8. Tell us about your creative process of recipe writing. Where does your inspiration come from? How do you start?
It depends. I treat writing cookbooks like a job, so when I’m writing, I will spend 8 hours a day in the kitchen just trying new things, playing around with ingredients and flavors. My best recipes come from that play, but I have also “veganized” old family recipes, or recipes I may have seen during my travels. For example in my first cookbook, the happy herbivore cookbook, I tried to recreate all the foods I used to love but in a healthy, plant-based way. You’ll find things like “meatballs” and “pizza” and “burgers” and “cupcakes.” Then in my last cookbook, happy herbivore abroad, I set out to recreate all these cultural dishes I saw during my travels abroad. My second book, everyday happy herbivore, was all about play — making recipes from whatever I had on hand.
9. Who is your main taste-tester when trying out new recipes?
My husband and whoever happens to be around — my sister, my assistant, my friends or neighbors, will get a taste here and there when I’m creating… then once I’m satisfied with a recipe it goes out to my large team of testers who make it, eat it and serve it to their family and friends for additional feedback. It’s a long process!
10. What is your favorite (or go-to) ingredient to cook with?
My go-to and favorite ingredient is always changing. I was obsessed with Dijon mustard for a while, then I moved on to chipotle, then I moved on to hot sauce, from there it was all about smoked paprika. Right now I’m totally obsessed with lemon juice.
We really enjoyed getting the chance to talk with Lindsay Nixon and learn a little more about everyone’s favorite “happy herbivore”. Thanks so much for sharing, Lindsay!!
PS- You can pre-order her new book on Amazon HERE!!!!
It is 8:30am. Tara is sitting at her computer, starting to draft this blog post. Already, she has run 10 miles, showered, dressed, and made breakfast. For the past three months, this is the way that Tara has started each day. The verdict? Morning workouts are THE BEST. Ever.
Why? Well, for starters, it becomes a routine. For those who know they should work out (and keep meaning to, but something always ends up getting in the way), this is key. And for those who already work out on a regular basis, being in a routine is still majorly beneficial. When you make morning workouts a routine, then exercise is no longer something that you have to try to plan into your day. There is no hassle and no stress, because you don’t have to struggle to find time to exercise. There is already time set aside automatically for you to use! And since it’s the first thing that you do that day, nothing can come up to deter you from doing it!
Another benefit of early morning workouts: your brain hasn’t fully woken up yet. You just roll out of bed and GO. No questions asked. This prevents your brain from being able to convince you to do otherwise
When you finish, you’ll feel great. We promise Starting your day with a workout gets you moving and motivated. By the time you’re eating breakfast, you’ve already accomplished so much!! You’ll be proud of yourself, and it will automatically put you in a productive mood. Even though you’ll probably go to bed earlier in order to get enough sleep before your potentially predawn wake-up, you’ll end up getting just as much, if not more, done in the day. Plus, exercise makes you energized in general. It gets your brain and body pumped up for the day ahead. Who needs caffeine when you can get the same buzz from a runners’ high?
And for those of you with stress or anxiety, morning workouts are golden. Exercising in the morning lets you experience the world while most people are still sleeping. Start your day with serenity instead of stress. It’s your own personal morning meditation time, allowing you to clear your head and be in a good mentality as you embark on the day’s doings.
So you want to try out some morning workout madness? (We really think you should!!) Here are some tips for how to get started:
- Figure out how much time you need to allow for your workout. Have an early start to your day? No worries, so do we! Some days, we have classes starting at 9am. “Early” just takes on a whole new meaning. For us, early now means a 6am wake-up. (Craig’s dad has been known to get up at 4:30am to get his workout in before heading to work. ‘Nough said.).
- Set your alarm clock. If you can, pick some fun music to wake up with and put you in a good mood. And no snooze button allowed!! Commit.
- Be prepared. Do whatever you need to do to make the morning hassle free. Set your clothes out the night before. If you want, you can set up breakfast too [either make some overnight oats (E2 Coach Char calls this “breakfast pudding”) or set up a grain in the rice cooker] so that when you get back from your workout, it’s ready to eat! If you’re heading to the gym, have a piece of fruit or granola bar and water bottle ready to go. This will help make things run smoothly and efficiently.
- Stay off your computer and smart phone until after you get done exercising. You can check the weather if you’re heading outside, but no email, Facebook, Twitter, instagram (or social media of any kind). Seriously. Hold yourself to this. Your inbox will still be there when you get back, and the world won’t move on without you. Give yourself some time of disconnect.
Find something you truly enjoy. We believe that there is something out there for everyone!! Running is our favorite way to exercise, but there are tons of other ways to get moving! Biking, hiking, roller skating, swimming, yoga, zumba, kickboxing, skiing, tennis, etc (we could really go on forever). Explore the wide world of options
Make exercise a priority, and get into a routine. Wake up with the sun (or before it!) and get moving. You’ll be amazed at how great you feel
The College Greens
Lately, a favorite breakfast of Jenna’s is buckwheat. A big tasty bowl of warm, chewy, subtly nutty, and nutrient packed buckwheat is great to start off your day off with. It’s wholesome, unprocessed, and delicious. Buckwheat is a wonderful way to switch up your breakfast routine. And it’s easier than ever to prepare with your new friend in the kitchen (or dorm room!): the rice cooker!
After hearing about a good friend loving the convenience of using a rice cooker, it certainly sounded like something that would be perfect for a busy college student who doesn’t have access to a kitchen! So Jenna decided to try one out and indeed, perfect it is! She now loves using her rice cooker too.
A rice cooker is so quick and easy to use. All you have to do is put the rice (or any grain) and appropriate amount of water in the cooker and place the lid on. Press a button and then you can just walk away. Viola! Before you know it, your rice will be cooked and ready for you to enjoy. And if you don’t want to eat it right away, it will keep it warm until you are ready. The rice cooker is so simple and convenient; it’s perfect for those with a hectic and busy life! Also, the rice cooker is a loyal friend who will never burn your meals or fail you.
Even though it’s called a rice cooker, it is certainly not limited to just cooking rice. It would be more fittingly called a grain cooker, as it works perfectly well with just about any grain (or even beans and lentils could be cooked in it as well!). Obviously, buckwheat is one staple Jenna cooks in the rice cooker, but she also cooks quinoa, barley, farro, and millet. The list of grains is endless. You could even cook up a combination of grains!
A rice cooker can be used as the basis for any meal at any time of the day. You could cook up some buckwheat for breakfast and enjoy with some fruit, nuts, chia seeds, and cinnamon on top. For lunch or dinner, you could cook up some quinoa, throw in a can of beans and some seasoning (curry is a favorite), and serve on a bed of greens with fresh or steamed veggies. Use whatever you have on hand and be creative! Simply by switching up the grain, seasoning, or fruit/vegetable served alongside, there is an unlimited variety of combinations for you to enjoy. All very simple and quick to put together, as well as yummy and nutritious.
Your new friend, the rice cooker, is so convenient that you might just want to start cooking with it every day! Or you could cook up a big batch of the grains to last for a few days. Some of the newer rice cookers even come with a steamer basket to place on top of the main bowl! Now your grains and vegetables can be cooked at the same time, all in the same place, while you don’t have to do a thing!
Since the rice cooker does the cooking for you, you are now free to do something else – in the kitchen or not! Jenna likes to prepare everything the night before, turn on the rice cooker when she wakes up, and have a nice warm breakfast ready and waiting when she returns from a morning run or workout. Use the rice cooker any time of the day and cook your grains while you run an errand, spend time with your family, exercise, read a book, etc. Life can be busy, but a rice cooker can help make cooking even easier!
The rice cooker is one gadget you’ll be sure to love in the kitchen. It’s simple and convenient and so versatile. And remember, this is only one of many ways to simplify things in the kitchen – there are always little things you can do so that you won’t have to compromise eating a delicious, filling and healthful diet. Using a rice cooker is a way to make preparing whole foods convenient, so you can stay away from “convenience foods.” And who wouldn’t want a little more simplicity?!
Off for a hot date with the rice cooker and some grains =)
-The College Greens