Wheat Berries

Surprises! (And a New Winner)

Happy Friday afternoon! Today has been an awesome day for a few reasons.

First, it’s amazing outside. Mid 80’s, sunny, and not at all humid. Awesome.

Second, I had a fabulous lunch but did a really bad job photographing it.

This mega salad had:

  • Tons of farmer’s market spinach
  • 1/2 cup wheat berries
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar

Look at all those toppings!

The fail part of this was that I had some Baked Tortilla Chips that I forgot to take a picture of (1 serving) and made an awesome dressing to go with the salad. I mixed together salsa + greek yogurt and drizzled it all over. It wasn’t very pretty (the color of the dressing), but it tasted great. This salad was awesome, huge, and so filling. I couldn’t even finish it all and that rarely, if ever, happens to me.

Third, my boyfriend surprised me at work with flowers!

And some veggies from a new Farmer’s Market that just opened in DC!

He know’s me pretty well, eh?

He brought microgreens, red and white radishes, black bok choy, and two bunches of kale!

Good job!! 🙂

And to follow up on the post from this morning, here are the answers to which wins for each, diet or exercise.

1.) Lose Weight – Diet – As research makes clear, trimming calories from your diet is the most direct route to a smaller size. It’s much easier to cut 500 calories from your diet every day than it is to go to the gym and burn 500 calories. Both diet and exercise are essential for keeping weight off, however.

2.) Boost Energy – Exercise – Exercise causes the brain to pour out invigorating neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. People who train consistently report surges in energy.

3.) Reduce Risk of Heart Disease – Diet – Omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish lower hear disease risk by up to 64 percent. Working out does strengthen your cardiovascular system, though.

4.) Prevent Diabetes – Exercise – Achieving a healthy weight through diet and exercise is the biggest defense against diabetes, but exercise has a slight edge. Active muscles gobble up glucose from the blood for fuel, which helps keep blood-sugar levels stable.

5.) Prevent Cancer – Both – Eating a mostly plant-based diet and exercising regularly remain the gold standard for warding off cancer. The more consistently you workout, the greater the protection.

6.) Improve Mood – Exercise A 20-minute session can perk up your mood for up to 12 hours! It may also be as effective as mediacation for treating depression in some people. And exercise can lead to changes in the brain that strengthen your resolve against stress.

What do you guys think? To me it seems like each thing has an element of both exercise and diet, but its good to know that making healthy lifestyle choices can make a huge difference in your overall health. I found this information pretty interesting!

And the NEW KIND BAR Giveaway Winner is… #18, April, who said:

“I’m already a subscriber and have never tried KIND before! The Almond and Coconut sounds delish!”

Congrats April!! Please send me your shipping info to bethklein at gmail dot com and I’ll have the KIND Bar people get you out those bars to try.

Whew this post ended up being longer than expected, hope your Friday is going great too!!

Eggplant Parm Wrap and Wheat Berry Salad

OK so I know I named Tuesday’s lunch post “Best Lunch Ever” but that was before today and there was no way I could know this was coming. I knew I wanted to use the leftover eggplant from last night but do something different than just having it with the cheese and sauce. I have a few of those Light Flatout Wraps left (which by the way are only 1 Weight Watchers Point and just 90 calories) so I decided to make a healthified version of an Eggplant Parm Sub of sorts.

I microwaved some spinach with a little water in the bottom of the container for 30 seconds so it would wilt and toasted the leftover eggplant rounds while that was going. I put the flatoutwrap down, added the spinach, put the toasted eggplant on top, and then added some cheese and threw it in the microwave for another 30 seconds.

I added some of the heated leftover sauce on top.

And wrapped it up to eat.

This was cheesy and warm and melty and just amazing. On the side, I had two large carrots.

And this amazing Wheat Berry Salad. In a tupperware this morning, I mixed:

  • 1/2 cup cooked wheat berries (whole foods bulk bins)
  • chopped green onions (farmer’s market)
  • chopped green squash (farmer’s market)
  • dried sour cherries (nutsonline.com)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

It was AWESOME. Since it sat together for a few hours, the sour cherries soaked up the liquid and got soft, and all the flavors in this went together so well. Unfortunately I am out of sour cherries but I have more of everything else so I may or may not make this for lunch again tomorrow… mostly may.

The only bad part of this lunch was that it’s now over.

Question: What’s one of your favorite lunches of all time, either that you cooked for yourself or got out at a restaurant?

Goji Berries

Good morning! Today’s breakfast was something new for me and I always get a little excited when I try new things. At my trip to the Asian Grocery store on Monday, I walked away with a lot of random stuff, but one of the purchases I was especially happy about were Goji Berries, labeled as Wolf Berries. I got a pretty good sized bag for $3.99 which is SO cheap compared to the other prices I’ve seen at Whole Foods, online, and other health food stores.

I had heard Goji Berries were a superfood, but didn’t know too much about their nutritional benefits, so I did a little research and thought I’d share. Some benefits of goji berries are :

  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Protect the liver
  • Boost immune function
  • improve circulation
  • promote longevity
  • help eyesight and prevent macular degeneration
  • strengthen the legs
  • improve fertility and sexual funtion

More detailed information can be found here. Most goji berries come in a dried form, similar to raisins, but a little drier in my opinion. There are many ways to use/consume goji berries, from eating them raw like raisins, to steeping them in water for tea, in trail mix, in energy bars, in smoothies, or pretty much anywhere you could use raisins or other dried fruit.

Today, I soaked 2 tbsp of goji berries in water for 10 minutes to plump them up a bit, and then added them to my breakfast bowl.

This bowl had:

  • 1/2 cup wheat berries
  • 1 container Chobani 0%
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp goji berries

Verdict? So good! This was my first time ever having wheat berries as a breakfast, and I just love their texture. They are chewy and kind of nutty in flavor, and are a nice change from my regular oats. I got some from the bulk bins at Whole Foods and cooked them over the weekend. Now I have a tub of chilled wheat berries to throw in salads, wraps, or for breakfast! I also loved the goji berries. I had only tasted them once before and I didn’t care for them too much. I think I wasn’t really sure what to expect and just ate a few of them plain. Soaking them in water for just a few minutes really plumps them up and gives them a good texture.

Back to work! Don’t forget to check last night’s post for the winner of the KIND Bar Giveaway!