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European Travels

February 17, 2009

Today’s Breakfast is a tribute to my backpacking days.  I spent a year and a half in Europe in my early 20’s, studying, working, and traveling.  It was one of the most amazing periods in my life, and those months spent traveling taught me more than I would ever learn in school.  I could go and on, but instead I’ll just show you my breakfast. 🙂

My Tribute to Europe

Welcome to Hostel Heather

If you’ve ever stayed in a youth hostel or an inexpensive pension, your stay may have included a continental breakfast.  Usually, this consisted of a hard roll, butter, jam, and coffee…but, sometimes if you were lucky, there were a few more options. If hard boiled eggs were available, I grabbed them – great source of protein.  My favorite were the little packages of full fat cheese (this would never be printed on a cheese label in America!).  My 2 servings of Laughing Cow Light this morning were not quite full fat…but close enough.  Last but not least, I treated myself to my favorite Parisian cafe delicacy…a pain au chocolat.  Hey, isn’t that a Flatout wrap with almond butter and carob chips?  Well, yeah…use your imagination people!  No visit to the UK this morning as I was not in the mood for fried bread, sausage, and baked beans. 🙂

This breakfast lasted me about 3.5 hours and then I started getting hungry.  The stats: 453 calories. 27 grams of fat (51%), 28 grams of carbs (23%), and 30 grams of protein (26%).  This breakfast was much higher in fat and protein compared to what I’ve been eating, but it didn’t quite keep me going for as long as I’d hope.  A backpacking traveling kind of girl needs more fuel!  Maybe that’s why I ate so much gelato in Italy…oh, and then there were all those Nutella filled crepes in France…the Belgium waffles…the Swiss chocolate…Let’s just say I indulged.  Oops. 🙂

Guess what I had for lunch?

Barley Pudding

Barley Pudding with Peanut Buter

A number of people have been asking about all these blended puddings I’ve been eating.  Following is the recipe for the barley pudding I made today.

Into the mix:

1 cup cooked barley

1 cup cooked barley

1/2 scoop Jay Robb egg white protein powder & 1/2 cup vanilla hemp milk

1/2 scoop Jay Robb egg white protein powder & 1/2 cup vanilla hemp milk

Everything into the Vita-Mix

Everything into the Vita-Mix

That’s it – so easy.  If you like rice pudding, this is a great alternative.  I meant to put cinnamon in it but totally forgot.  The possibilities are endless.  Chocolate Covered Vegan, my pudding inspiration, recommends adding a melted banana or cocoa powder.  For a savory bowl, I’ll add a little water and some Smart Balance Light.  Also, a Vita-Mix isn’t necessary as I think any blender would do.  Just don’t forget the key ingredient…nut butter!  Definitely a necessity. 🙂

I desperately want to do a chin-up…and I can’t.  The assisted chin-up machine at my Y has really helped me progress, but I want to do one on my own.  People at the gym make it look so easy, but I just hang from the bar whenever I try.  Any tips or certain strengthening exercises I should be doing?  Thanks!

51 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2009 6:32 pm

    haha i remember TRYING to do one chin up/or pull up? in middle school for testing and I could NOT! I looove love your breakfast too, I’ve been to spain twice and the food was so amazingly delicious! I like your changes that healthify it a teensy bit 😀

  2. Erin permalink
    February 17, 2009 6:36 pm

    Love your European inspired breakfast. Your “pastry” looks pretty delish to me. Blending things inevitably makes them better 🙂
    I wish I could help on the chin up front, but sadly I’ve been wishing I could do one for years. My wimpo arms seems to be getting a wee bit stronger, so maybe one day…

  3. chocolatecoveredvegan permalink
    February 17, 2009 6:37 pm

    Guess what I had at dinner tonight… you’ll never guess! (Ok, you probably guessed right away!)
    Anywhoos, I had savory blended barley with smart balance light :o). We were twinsies!

    On another note, can I please book a trip to Hostel Heather?

  4. February 17, 2009 6:41 pm

    I want to stay at Hostel Heather!!! 😀

    Hooray for featuring the best hempmilk ever!!

  5. February 17, 2009 7:07 pm

    So creative with the blended pudding! A Vita-Mix is on my dream list..someday! 🙂

    I used to be able to do far more chin-ups than I currently can (I was a gymnast), but maybe do some weight exercises that use the chin up muscles?

  6. Andrea permalink
    February 17, 2009 7:14 pm

    LOL about the chin-up. The hubbs and I have a bet that I can’t do one – he thinks I can, but I say no way – I hate the assisted chin-up machine! We’re never there together when the gym isn’t crowded, so I don’t think we’re going to find out anytime soon.
    Love the healthified pain au chocolate!

  7. February 17, 2009 7:25 pm

    I love the European diet!! Ah, pain au chocolat, I think I like your version just as much!! 🙂

  8. February 17, 2009 7:26 pm

    yes, very European! I’ve stayed in a hostel, but in the U.S. & it was either you brought your own, or day-old breads & bagels with jam! Good times!

  9. February 17, 2009 7:27 pm

    oh, i need a grain bowl. your trip sounds fabulous!! and why did you indulge in those perfect goodies while you were there?? life is too short! and they are so much better there 🙂

  10. February 17, 2009 7:32 pm

    I miss Spain…

  11. foodsthatfit permalink
    February 17, 2009 7:38 pm

    I have never been overseas! What a cool experience that you were able to live there. My husband lived in Ireland for 2 years and has some great stories. I also can’t do a chin up or pull up to save my life. I have the P90X videos that have a huge focus on pull-ups and instead I use a band that hangs from the top of my doorway as my way to still do the exercises. Is the Jay Robb protein powder very good? I have tried so many kinds, but haven’t found a brand that I love! I wonder if my Magic Bullet would work for the Barley pudding?

  12. February 17, 2009 7:45 pm

    mmm, i love the looks of this breakfast!! it really does remind me of my traveling days 🙂

    i’ve never been able to get anywhere close to a chin-up … but it’s a valiant goal you have, and i’m sure you’ll find a way!!

  13. February 17, 2009 7:48 pm

    Those blended grain puddings really make me wish I had a blender at school!
    I like your creative “pain au chocolat!”

  14. February 17, 2009 8:02 pm

    Oh my gosh, that is my fantasy to backpack through Europe like that!!! If I don’t get a good internship/job for next year, I may just run off to Europe 🙂

  15. February 17, 2009 8:19 pm

    That barley pudding looks AMAZING!!

    I want some now, please! 🙂

    Hope you’re having a good week, Heather!

  16. Matt permalink
    February 17, 2009 8:22 pm

    I want to go backpacking in Europe. I also want some belgian waffles.

  17. February 17, 2009 9:03 pm

    I bet your breakfast was so fun to eat! I would love to hear more about your European travels and eats. You should do a post or two about it sometime.

  18. February 17, 2009 9:16 pm

    pretty cabinets!

  19. February 17, 2009 9:23 pm

    Foodsthatfit, I love Jay Robb – both the egg white protein & whey are so good. He also makes a soy, but I’ve never had it. No artificial ingredients and sweetened with Stevia. Chocolate, vanilla, & strawberry all delicious. Tropical Dreamsicle and Pina Colada not so much. I know Katie (Chocolate Covered Vegan) uses her Magic Bullet for the puddings. You should try it…and the Jay Robb! Glad to know I’m not alone in the pull-up dilemma. 🙂

  20. February 17, 2009 9:42 pm

    Love those puddings, and your suggestion that the barley pudding is a good substitute for rice pudding. Brilliant!

    I was never able to do a chin-up until practicing yoga consistently one summer. I was so excited when I was able to pull myself up on our door-gym bar and do not just one, but three!!! chin-ups. I’m sure I couldn’t do one now because I haven’t been consistent enough in my practice, but I’m hoping that I’ll be back there very soon.

    And, I’m DYING to backpack Europe. I can’t even imagine the food indulgences! Yum. 🙂

  21. February 17, 2009 9:58 pm

    Wow, I am in love with your life. It sounds like you’ve had so many awesome experiences.

    Yay grains! Lunch looks cool – thanks for the instructions 😀

  22. February 17, 2009 10:49 pm

    That is pretty much my dream- to backpack my way through Europe. There are so many places all throughout the continent I would love to visit. If I wasn’t married I would totally pick up and leave to travel the world!

    And your food looks yummy as always.. I’m loving the AB/Carob goodness!

  23. tryingforatri permalink
    February 17, 2009 11:27 pm

    I really want to try one of those puddings! With nut butter of course…

    The weight lifting program I’m doing (New Rules of Lifting For Women) is meant to get you to the point where you can do an unassisted pull-up. I’m pretty weak though, it’s going to be a long time before I get there!

  24. February 18, 2009 12:27 am

    I have never had hard boiled eggs! How amazing is that, lol. I really want to try some though… something to add to my list of things I want to do =) Thanks for the pudding recipe! And all of your recipes!

  25. February 18, 2009 12:54 am

    Quit talking about Jay Robb in the comments, you are making me jealous 😉

    Do you really gum up your beautiful Vitamix with your puddings? Okay, I’m going to try it. You’ve convinced me. My Bullet is much easier to clean than that beast, so it must really be worth it.

    I bet those eggs stunk up your house somethin’ good!!!

  26. February 18, 2009 3:42 am

    Love the European breakfast!! Yeah, I have to be in a certain mood for baked beans in the morning, too 😉 That is so neat that you lived in London for a year. It has definitely been amazing, and it’s cool to see that your experiences have stuck with you.
    Thank you for the tips with the 10k. Hal has come highly recommended by more than person now so I will definitely be checking him out!

  27. February 18, 2009 4:39 am

    What kind of exercises are you doing now? Doing reverse rows, I think prepares you for pull ups better than the assisted pull up machine. Let me know if you need a visual (there is one on my blog *somewhere*, I think on the post about traveling) Regular rows, delt and rear delt raises, etc.

    You want to be mainly working your back, and shoulders/back.

  28. February 18, 2009 6:55 am

    Seriously…that wrap is so tempting!!!

    Ooo and I love the pudding of course. I’m making some this week.

  29. February 18, 2009 6:59 am

    Thanks! I knew I could count on you with help for my pull-ups. Back/shoulders – makes sense. I’ll make you proud…promise. 🙂

  30. Stefanie permalink
    February 18, 2009 7:18 am

    Ah, the days at Inverness Terrace. Don’t forget the baked beans option at brekkie. Although we passed on that quite a bit. And I still would, actually.

  31. February 18, 2009 8:13 am

    Stef, Ha ha…I thought this post might cause you to de-lurk. 🙂 Yeah, we may have passed on the beans but made up for it in Chocolate Digestives and cheese-on-a-stick. Yum!

  32. February 18, 2009 8:21 am

    Thanks for explaining your lunch- it looks interesting!

    And good luck with the unassisted pull-up. I’ve never tried but now I wan to, too!

  33. February 18, 2009 8:24 am

    Hey Heather! I wore my HRM to yoga last night and it said that I burned a little over 400 calories in the 60 minute class. The last 10 minutes consisted of a lot of floor stretching, so I think the calorie burning slowed down a lot. For a comparison, I usually burn 450 when I run 4 miles. Hope that helps! Have you ever been to Hot Yoga in Nashville? Before moving, I was hoping and praying for the Y to start their own Bikram classes. Oh how I miss the Green Hills Y! 😦

  34. February 18, 2009 8:33 am

    Loving the European breakfast! So funny! I remember eating a croissant and Nutella almost every morning in Europe! No complaints there!!

  35. February 18, 2009 8:41 am

    how come my egg yolks always come out grey? i have yellow yolk envy…

    Kelly Turner

  36. February 18, 2009 9:55 am

    Thanks for the calorie information. Wow, over 400, huh? Great workout! I love Hot Yoga – I’ve signed up for their Yoga workshop in March. Vinyasa Flow classes every weekday at 6 AM in the heated studio and a 2 hour class every Saturday afternoon for an entire month. That is why I’m taking it so easy these days as I want my hamstring to be in tip-top shape…can’t wait! I think after the workshop, I’m going to take more classes at Sanctuary Yoga in Green Hills? Did you ever go there? Great instructors! I wonder how many times we saw each other at the Green Hills Y. I wish we could have met before you moved, but hopefully we’ll get to meet up in CO! Have a good day.

  37. February 18, 2009 10:11 am

    Ah, backpacking in Europe – I miss the college days! I do not miss the 20 lbs of napoletanas (pain au chocolat, spain style) that I was carrying around my gut, but MAN was that delicious.

    I need to try the Jay Robb! Looks fun.

  38. February 18, 2009 11:13 am

    0MG, I would love to travel with you… You seem to radiate peace and tranquility. What a beautiful time of your life!

    And I have decided that you = the epitome of a healthy eater. You have SUCH balance to all of your meals. Love love love. <33

  39. February 18, 2009 11:32 am

    Ill have to branch out and pick up some barley sometime soon. Your meals are so inspiring. I love trying new things!! I think its great your working on your chin up! I prefer pull ups and I am currently at 5 on a good day. What really helped me was one of these babies I just stuck it in my door way and periodically throughout the day I practice. Since you cant do 1 yet its ok to jump and pull first if using one of these. It really helps and I got the thing new at play it again sports for like 30 bucks. Also, doing extra work on the back, biceps, and forearms are good for both chin ups and pull ups. Good luck with them and keep practicing. I know if I stop even just for a few days I am unable to reach 5.


  40. February 18, 2009 12:13 pm

    This pudding thing intrigues me… I vividly remember those continental breakfast in Europe, don’t think I ever got cheese but free bread, butter and jelly was never something to complain about. And something about it being Europe just made it that much more special.

  41. February 18, 2009 12:39 pm

    your breakfasts always look amazing! i was going to ask the same thing about the protein powder. i should just bite the bullet and try it out.

  42. Megan permalink
    February 18, 2009 12:47 pm

    Hi Heather,

    I am a new reader of sorts. I’ve been lurking for a while.

    I was wondering if, in the next post you write in the future where you mention blended grains, could you perhaps include a link to the specific post of chocolate covered vegan’s where she tells how to make the blended grains? I went on her site but didn’t see it, so I’m guessing it’s an older post. I’d ask you to just leave me a comment with the link, but I’m afraid I’d forget to check back!

    I love your blog!

  43. February 18, 2009 12:55 pm

    YUM! the pudding looks fantastic!!

    love the blog! i love nut butters as well! almond, peanut, cashew, doesnt matter, i’ll eat it!

  44. February 18, 2009 2:09 pm

    Love the European inspired breakfast. Eggs, cheese and chocolate, doesn’t get much better than that.

    Unless of course you make barley pudding. Then there’s some serious delicious breakfast competition going on.

    I’ve tried to do a chin up once or twice in my life. It was a terrible failure. I want a chin up bar but I think it would be terribly discouraging and would make me quite sad. People who are able to do it really DO make it look so easy, no fair!

  45. February 18, 2009 2:53 pm

    Justine, thanks for the tips. This was really helpful. Consistent practice – I know that’s what it will take. I’ll keep you posted. 5, huh? Wow, I’m impressed…and jealous. 🙂

  46. Julie permalink
    February 18, 2009 5:34 pm

    Hi Heather! First time reader, will be coming back for more. For pullups, try underhand instead of overhand, and keep your arms closer to your core to make it easier at first. Also, the Crossfit trainer I worked with had me doing jumping pullups, 30 reps for 3 rounds. He put a box below the bar so that I could easily jump and assist myself over the bar. It was easy at first, but burned by the end, and both legs and arms were tired. A friend can also assist by helping lift up your lower half as you pull. You can also do negatives, where you position yourself in pullup position over the bar, and then slowly lower yourself down, sometimes holding halfway down. OK, so I’m a little obsessed myself! Good luck!

  47. February 18, 2009 5:41 pm

    Julie, thanks for reading and for all the pull-up tips! Very helpful!

  48. February 18, 2009 6:43 pm

    I’m sorry I haven’t answered your question! I stink! I promise to get back to you! Do you have any favorite pics from your european travels? I’d LOVE to see them! Hope you had a good day

  49. February 18, 2009 11:03 pm

    I need to make one of these puddings PRONTO!

  50. February 19, 2009 7:57 pm

    I’m trippin’ over all the pudding creations as of late. I need to just batch cook some grains this weekend. I’m freakin’ out. Do you think they’d pack okay for work? Like, without separating?

  51. February 19, 2009 9:15 pm

    I think the grain puddings would be fine as long as you refrigerate them when you to get to work, and they might need a good stir before eating. Enjoy!

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