Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Abeyance [n.] (a bay ants)
  1. The suspension of activity

Today, my normal food regimen enters a state of abeyance as I being Day 1 of my 24-Day Challenge.  For 24 days, I'll cleanse my system, add good nutrients back in, and, most importantly, prove to myself that 24 days is a drop in the bucket when it comes to tackling a goal.  The curious thing is that the routine isn't that different than how I normally eat outside of my stress-induced love of pretzels, Chex cereal, and pizza. I eat 5 clean meals throughout the day. I abide by my macros (160 carbs, 140 protein, 40 fat).  I take vitamins.  The big difference now is that I'm cutting dairy (I'm sorry, Greek yogurt) and Lean Cuisine lunches, and adding in fiber and supplements.

I'll say it: it all comes down to the preparation.  I spent Saturday planning my meals for the first week and Sunday cooking, weighing, and bagging it all so my life can be that much easier.  In this journey, I've discovered and plain ol' made up some recipes that I thought was worthy of sharing.  Here's one of my favorites:

Vanilla Protein Pancakes

  • 1 banana
  • 2 scoops natural whey protein powder (I use True Athlete and 2 scoops = 1 serving)
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed walnuts
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tea spoon pure vanilla extract*
  • Blend ingredients.  I use my hand blender and it works marvelously.
  • Pour batter in cooking spray covered pan, pre-heated on medium. I usually pour all of my batter in one pan for a mega pancake, but you can also make 9 or so dollar pancakes.
  • Flip pancakes when they start to bubble and sides stop shining.  Only cook on this side for 30-60 seconds to maintain moist texture.  These pancakes poof up like a souffle when you flip!
  • Flop onto a plate and enjoy!
* I have four or five versions of this baby with different additives, may it be lemon, cocoa powder, or even coconut. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ode to Gina, and Graze

Gina and I go way back.  Back to January, when Graze opened up in the U.S. to a pilot group of snackers. 

I was searching for a subscription service to send as a gift to my best gal pal for her birthday and stumbled upon Graze – “we select the healthy foods that actually taste good and handpick your very own snack box, delivered wherever you like.   With a diabolical combination of boredom and gorging as my arch-nemesis in the food category, a weekly shipment of different healthy, portioned out snacks seemed like a risk I was willing to take.  Lo and behold, Graze was coming to the U.S. and, thanks to a special invitation code to their Facebook fans, I was in the VIP launch group.  And, might I add, thrilled about it?  I spent nearly an hour combing through the snack options, rating “tropical daiquiri” as LOVE and “wasapea” as TRASH before I received my first snack box.  When that first perfectly sized, simple yet adorable Graze box hit my mailstop (documented above), I was hooked.  The branding alone was perfection – clean, simple, natural, with wit!  The nutritional cards in each box were enough to make me smile wide and proud and prance off to share that joy on Twitter.  Those little punnets have been with me every week since that time.

Well, almost every week. That’s where Gina comes in.  Week six of operation “Get Kristen better snacks” began and no Graze box.  Week seven started and still no box.  The website said it was shipped, that my credit card was charged, but there I was, Graze’less.  Desperate and a little perturbed, I tweeted @GrazeUSA about my situation.  Fair Gina replied instantly, asking me to e-mail her so we could sort out details.  It was the most personalized customer care conversation I had ever had over e-mail or social media – I felt like I was speaking with a real person. While it became apparent it was all an USPS issue, she still credited me a free snack box.

Fast forward to this very week, when Graze ended the VIP launch and opened the gates to snacking paradise.  In preparation for my first 10k this weekend, I’ve been strict about my diet – don’t go crazy, don’t introduce new things, avoid acidic foods...like tomatoes.  But the last snack in my box was the tomato dipinetti  and I had to try it.  But if I just ate the grissinetti…

Fair Gina again appeared!  We e-mailed as before and grissinetti nutritional information was shared (as well as a mutual tomato sensitivity).  Despite an influx of new snackers to the service, customer care was just as good, just as responsive, and just as personal as it had been.  That’s hard to do. 

Graze, you have me, hook, line, and salsa fresca .

Oh, and give Gina a raise.