The Great Grass Debate

FOOD

My morning meals all week have been the same; black coffee, a green juice, and all the fruit I want to eat.  So I have had lots of grapes, bananas, and pineapple.

Lunches have included a  BAS’s of some nature.  I had a vegetable smoothie yesterday, and an avocado and tomato sammich the day before.

a simple BAS with romaine, yellow bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes, tossed with about a tsp of olive oil and a tsp of very nice balsamic vinegar

veggie smoothie! Like a liquid salad. Tomato, romaine, bell pepper, onion, carrot, celery, and a dash of vegan worsteshire sauce

Dinner on Tuesday was another rendition of Taco Tuesday.  These tacos were bean tacos, made with some leftovers I had made the week before in the pressure cooker.  I essentially did a take on Moors & Christians, but used pinto beans and skipped the bacon.  The resulting beans were just fantastic!  We ate them over rice one day, with tortilla chips as a dip on another day, and in tacos.  Very versatile little things.

pinto beans and rice on corn tortillas, topped with onion, tomato, lettuce, hot sauce, and vegan sour cream

Crissie’s Pressure Cooker Pinto Beans

Ingredients

*1 bag soaked pinto beans

*2 tbsp olive oil

*1 onion, diced

*4 cloves garlic

*2 bay leaves

*1/2 bell pepper, diced (I used yellow)

*1 tsp cumin

*1 tsp oregano

*1 tbsp olive oil

*2 tbsp white wine

*1 tbsp red wine vinegar

*salt & pepper to taste

Directions

~heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker (I use a stovetop one…though I really want an electric one now!).  Sautee the onion, garlic, and bell peppers until soft.  Add beans, bay leaves, cumin, and oregano.  Add enough cold water to cover the beans by about an inch.

~put the lid on, and bring to high pressure.  Cook for 45 minutes.  I know this sounds like it’s WAY longer than needed, but cooking it this long makes the beans fall apart, and you get that refried bean-like consistency vs. the whole bean.

~let the pressure release naturally.  Remove the lid, and if there is a lot of liquid, pour it off.  Take an immersion blender or potato masher, and puree the beans.

~add the remaining ingredients and simmer 10-15 minutes.

Eat however you want!  My entire family was shocked by how much they liked it.  It’s so simple, but very, very yummy.

This recipe is actually the base recipe (minus the sofrito) of Moors and Christians, a common Spanish/Carribean dish of black beans and rice.

FITNESS

It’s been a busy, but good week.  Monday and Tuesday I ran.  Wednesday I did strength training and a bike workout, and yesterday I swam for an hour (included some speed drills).  The swim was my favorite – and I could have gone longer, but got a nasty cramp in three of my toes and in the arch on my right foot.

Here’s the strength training session we did:

Strength Training Sets Reps/Sets Weight/Set
Abdominal Crunch w/ 5lb dumbbell on ankles 2 25 5 Ico_delete
Oblique Crunch w 5lb dumbbell on ankles 2 15 5 Ico_delete
Sit Up – Roll Up w 5lb dumbbell 15 2 5 Ico_delete
Leg Raises in Captain’s Chair – Abs 2 15 Ico_delete
Side Lunge 2 15 5 Ico_delete
Jacknife on a balance ball 2 15 Ico_delete
21’s w/barbell 2 15 15 Ico_delete
Squat w Overhead Press 2 15 15 Ico_delete
TRX Hip Lift and Pull Up 2 15 Ico_delete
Incline Bicep Curl w/ barbell 2 15 10 Ico_delete
Step Up w Leg Lift and Overhead Press (each side) 2 15 5 Ico_delete
Overhead press with shoulder fly on a stability ball 2 15 5 Ico_delete
Triceps Push Down 2 15 50 Ico_delete
Deadlift, Straight Leg 2 15 50 Ico_delete
Squat w back row 2 15 50 Ico_delete
TRX – Feet in Strap, Bridge, Pull Legs In 2 15 Ico_delete
Lying Leg Curl w/ dumbbell 2 15 25 Ico_delete
Prisoner Lunges 2 15 Ico_delete

My trainer is helping me develop a routine I can do in my hotel in Vegas, so that’s pretty cool.

LIFE

It’s been a very busy week.  I’m trying to wrap up a few major things before my Vegas trip.  I leave next Saturday (the 18th).

I decided that I’m way too addicted to my morning green juice to go without while in Vegas.  Truth be told, breakfast is the hardest for me when I travel.  I’m not the biggest fan of oatmeal – and certainly not a big enough fan to have it every day.  And sadly, while I’m happy with soup and salad for breakfast – not many restaurants serve it.  Fortunately, where I’m staying is a suite with a kitchenette, so I can stock up on fruits, etc for my mornings.  But still…what to do about the juice?  I can’t exactly take my juicer with me across country.  So I asked for some ideas on Twitter!  I was on the hunt for a super green powder that doesn’t taste like crap and mixes easily, without the need of a blender.  The two that came up are the Trader Joe’s Super Green Drink Powder and anything by a company called Amazing Grass.  So, I bought both of them to give them a try!

The TJ’s one, I picked up Tuesday afternoon.  I packed it with me to the gym on Wednesday morning, and after my workout and shower, I mixed a scoop in some water and drank it on my way to my early morning meeting.  I had to order the Amazing Grass product (and will say it was VERY highly rated on Amazon), and that came last night, so I had that for breakfast today.

Here are my thoughts on them both….

Not the most palatable thing I’ve ever put in my mouth for sure, but it wasn’t so bad that I had to spit it out.  I drank the entire bottle with minimal whining.  Later in the morning – after my 7am meeting – I picked up a bottle of fresh OJ and mixed it with that.  Tasted just fine.  I can see drinking this on a regular basis – especially while traveling.

I mixed a scoop of this in water this morning.  It was nasty.  Smelled bad, tasted worse.  So I added a cup of OJ, remixed, and could drink it.  It still had a funnier-than-I’d-like taste to it, but I could finish it.  No way this can be drunk only mixed with water.

Looking at their respective ingredients, they’re pretty similar.  Both have a grass blend which is nearly identical (Amazing Grass has wheat grass, the TJ one does not), antioxidant blend (this was wildly different ingredients), fiber blend (similar), and vegan based digestive enzymes and probiotics.

I love that both are super healthy and provide multiple servings of fruits and veggies, are packed with a massive amount of nutrients.  I think that with juice or added to a smoothie, that both are pretty easy to drink, though the Trader joe’s one ranks higher for me right now.  AG has many flavors out there though, so I’ll be trying them.  I just want to find them in sample sizes first, and not have to buy the 30 serving jug. I’ll probably take both to Vegas with me, so in that respect, my goal to find a green juice replacement is a success.

4 responses to “The Great Grass Debate

  1. I always try to get at least a fridge and microwave when I stay in a hotel. Kitchenette is perfect. Sorry you weren’t as keen on the AG – I think they have a chocolate flavor. At least it was better with the juice.

  2. AG is not exactly tasty, but I agree that it’s super useful for travel!!

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