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The Avocado. My New Favorite Cheese.

March 9, 2009

Heather McD Update:

1. Giving up gum for Lent was much easier than I thought!  The first day was challenging, but after Day 1, my life without gum has been nothing less than minty fresh.  Thank you Altoids!  I did break down and have one piece of all natural xylitol sweetened gum that we sell at work – yeah, it was as gross as it sounds.

2. Dairy free month was going great up until Saturday night when I suggested my husband and I go get frozen yogurt as part of date night.  We went to Oasis Yogurt where it’s all self serve AND all low calorie.  Not a good combo.  Better believe I filled up my entire 16 oz cup with peanut butter, Irish Cream, and Caramel yogurt. My toppings included graham crackers and peanuts.  I felt so gross and bloated by the time we got home.  Won’t be doing that again anytime soon…well, at least not until April 1. 🙂  No, but seriously I’ve felt a lot better without dairy in my life. No more runny noses at night either! Ahh, the things I share with the World Wide Web.

3. My yoga workshop at Hot Yoga Nashville is beyond unbelievable.  It’s probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, and I’m loving it!  Getting up at 5 AM hasn’t been that bad as I’ve been in bed by 9 PM almost every night.  Saturday’s 2-hour class was intense.  Side Crow lasted for 2 breaths (but only on my right side), and we worked on headstand, which I’ve only ever done against a wall in the past.  Exciting!  My balance and strength have already improved, and the hamstring seems to be doing just fine. 🙂

Here are some yummy eats from the past couple of days:

I never thought I could love barley so much!

I never thought I could love barley so much!

This was one amazing bowl and will be repeated once I restock my barley supply.  I warmed 3 ounces of cashew milk with one mashed banana and some cinnamon on the stove-top.  I then stirred in one cup of cooked barley. Then into the Vita-Mix went the pot contents and 30 seconds later, I had this decadent bowl of grains served with a kiss of carob chips.

Sunday’s dinner:

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

I used Maggie’s recipe for whole wheat pizza crust and topped my half with homemade pizza sauce, sauteed onions and peppers, and avocado instead of cheese.  (Erin – you’re brilliant!).  I ate 2 slices with some wilted spinach and my new favorite Sabra hummus – sun dried tomato.  Have y’all tried this flavor yet?  Delicious!  This pizza was so easy, although I think I made the crust a bit too thick.  Still good, and the leftovers today tasted even better reheated in the toaster oven.


Daily oat bran fix

Daily oat bran fix

Holy Yum!  For today’s bowl, I cooked 1/2 cup oat bran, 1/2 cup wheat bran, 1 3/4 cup water, and  a pinch of salt on the stove-top.  After about 2 minutes, I dumped everything into my Vita-Mix with 1/2 avocado, 1 tsp cocoa powder, and 1 tsp maple syrup.  Topped it off with some crack-laced peanut butter, and I was good to go for about 6 hours.  Love this combo – it’s kind of bitter…just the way chocolate should be!  The stats…hehe.  Just kidding. 🙂

Thank you so much for all or your support and positive feedback on my oat bran post over the weekend.  Here’s to no more calorie counting.  Wow, what a tough habit to break!  I’m afraid might might file a missing person’s report on me soon.

Before I go, I wanted to give a shout-out to Zesty Cook, one of my favorite food bloggers.  

You know you want a copy!

You know you want a copy!

Zesty has come out with his own e-cookbook.  I guarantee it will not disappoint, and best of all, it’s free! Seriously, Zesty’s creativity in the kitchen never ceases to amaze me.  Go check it out right now!

44 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2009 2:36 pm

    yum, i’m hooked on the blended grains 🙂 i measured out the oat bran i put in with my oatmeal this am, and 1/4c of tj’s brand weighed in at 35g (they claim 40g for 1/3c). maybe they fluff it before putting into the measuring cup… like the way you’re supposed to measure flour.

    are you lactose intolerant? or against trying lactaid pills when you need that yogurt? i know some people are against it, but i love my dairy!!

  2. March 9, 2009 2:48 pm

    avocado is such a miracle food.

    your froyo combo sounds so yummy. sorry you had to pay for it later!! stay strong on the breakfast calorie resolution, haha.

  3. March 9, 2009 2:54 pm

    Gracious what a good idea to make avocado the “cheese”! Still just as rich, I’m sure. I will need to incorporate it more often!

  4. March 9, 2009 2:57 pm

    So glad you’re loving the blended grains! I think all oat bran manufacturers are doing some major fluffing! I love dairy too, but after not eating it for a few weeks, I know my body does NOT love it. However, I need my occasional yogurt fix! I’ll have to remember to bring along the lactaid pills next time. Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. March 9, 2009 2:58 pm

    Thanks for the update!!!

    Sabra Sun Dried Tomato is the only flavor I’ve ever had…they sell it in HUGE tubs at our Costco and we go through a tub a week!

    I knew it was time to quit when I was getting random comments from site users that I must be an accountant because I was so meticulous. I think I logged everything for a good two months. YUCK!

    I’m hitting up Zesty next for that FREE cookbook! Too cool!

    Have a great rest of your Monday girlie!

  6. Erin permalink
    March 9, 2009 3:02 pm

    Yay for no more calorie counting!!
    I’m glad you agree that avocado is like cheese! It is an amazing food, but most people think I’m crazy for using it instead of cheese. Your blended bowls are amazing as always. They are so worth the extra 30 seconds!

  7. March 9, 2009 3:03 pm

    A 2 hour yoga class on Saturday?? You are crazy! Wish I could get that motivated! 😀

  8. March 9, 2009 3:07 pm

    My favorite accountant. 🙂

    I am so excited about this hummus! Our Costco has only sold Sabra’s toasted pine nut and roasted red pepper hummus in the past. We just got this flavor – we’re a little slow down here in the South, ya hear?

  9. March 9, 2009 3:10 pm

    SO glad you are loving your yoga workshop! And yum…avocado on pizza? Brilliant.

    Oh, and those chocolate chips…need I say more?

  10. peanutbutterandjuli permalink
    March 9, 2009 3:25 pm

    I need to get some Avocado in my life, stat.

    And chocolate chips.

  11. March 9, 2009 3:31 pm

    Really? Wow, I am impressed with the gum. Do you find yourself stuffing tons of Altoids in your mouth all day long? I’m afraid that is what I would do. I do want to give it a shot…I know I could hopefully make it at least one day. 🙂

    Hooooly moly. I just looked up a picture of the side crow position. My hat goes off to you…there is no way I could only that even for a millisecond! It looks very intense!

  12. March 9, 2009 3:42 pm


  13. March 9, 2009 3:48 pm

    I was afraid I might binge on the Altoids, but I just keep them at work and pop one (sometimes 2) between clients. Life without gum hasn’t been nearly as rough as I thought it would be. I highly recommend it, as that stuff is horrible for you, at least what I was chewing. So much aspartame everyday!

    Regarding Side Crow, I was so not there last week, but I did it on Saturday. It’s amazing what our bodies can do if we keep trying!

  14. March 9, 2009 3:48 pm

    You get extra entries! A tip that I should put with that recipe is to use part white, part whole wheat – it’s fluffier that way. And sometimes I sprinkle corn bread mix on the pan before I put the dough down – that is sooooo good.

    I agree about the gum – it was a lot easier than I expected.

    Congrats on headstand – I was SO happy the first time I did it alone. It just happens one day for no reason.

    Happy Monday 🙂

  15. March 9, 2009 3:51 pm

    Horray for no gum! When I gave it up cold turkey it was really easy after a few days. Now I feel less bloated.

    Ooo blended barley!

  16. March 9, 2009 4:24 pm

    I stopped chewing gum about 2 months ago, and haven’t been tempted since! It used to be one of my vices – I’d chew ~4 pieces a day, which was probably terrible for my teeth 😉 Glad to hear your experience has been positive thus far!

    I haven’t tried the Sabra sun dried tomato hummus, but I LOVE that brand (esp. the “supremely spicy”) so I’ll have to give the tomato variety a try.

    I could eat a BOWL full of mashed avocado… oh wait, I pretty much do whenever we make mexican food 🙂

  17. March 9, 2009 4:32 pm

    hhahahah that frozen yogurt place sounds incredible. hehe- even if you did feel yucky afterwards. Glad you’re getting back into the hot yoga- I’m super jealous

  18. March 9, 2009 4:41 pm

    Gotta love avocado, right??

    I too love the sun-dried tomato sabra hummus. I have some in the fridge right now. What irritates me is that it claims to only have 1g of protein…the first ingredient is chickpeas, how is that possible??? Regardless, its awesome!

  19. March 9, 2009 5:04 pm

    In response to your comment on my post, I am still sticking with the Blood Type diet. I do feel a lot better and I know what a bummer it is to see your fav foods on that avoid list. If a food isn’t listed, just consider it in the neutral category. Avocado is forbidden for me which sucks cuz I really want to try your “pudding”!

    Berries are a really good option to help sweeten your oats instead of banana. Pineapple might be interesting, maybe w/some coconut??

    One thing that I’m bummed about it cashew butter. I recently discovered the wonderful taste of it and then read that it inhibits the production of insulin in type Bs. 😦

  20. March 9, 2009 5:16 pm

    Thanks Graze With Me. Very helpful, and I do love berries in oats! The coconut/pineapple combo sounds amazing. Good thinking! Sorry about the cashews. 🙂 Thank goodness for almond butter, huh? 🙂

  21. March 9, 2009 5:18 pm

    The hummus must have more than 1 gram of protein, no? I no longer trust the labels – in my mind, Sabra is packed with protein! 🙂

  22. March 9, 2009 5:21 pm

    Heather, I would seriously put avocado in EVERYTHING if I had my way. It’s one of my favorite foods EVER!

  23. March 9, 2009 5:32 pm

    I feel gross after eating too much dairy, too. But that doesn’t always stop me from eating ice cream come summertime, hehee.
    Love the idea of avocado on pizza!

    Sounds like yoga is going great, too! I actually did a little from with my roommate last night, after which I promptly fell into bed.

    I should probably stop chewing gum to stay awake in class and start sleeping more.

  24. March 9, 2009 5:53 pm

    Heather I LOVE frozen yogurt and I think no life is complete without it — it’s the perfect treat! Creamy, cold, like ice cream but lower calorie, and lots of delicious toppings! I eat frozen yogurt every single day during the summer, and a lot the rest of the year too. 🙂

    Your barley looks so mushyyyy and yummy and I would love to try some

  25. March 9, 2009 6:54 pm

    your breakfast looks so delicious! and so creative! I need to try that blended barley soon! and cashew milk??? wooooo…… amazing! 😀

  26. lisaheartspizza permalink
    March 9, 2009 7:17 pm

    MMMM, avocado pizza!! I had some once where there was mashed black beans and mashed avocado as a topping and then had some diced tomatoes and was sooooooooooo good! I highly recommend the mashed version although yours looked super delicious too-Lisa D.

  27. March 9, 2009 8:38 pm

    I am so-so-so happy the yoga is proving to be great for you!
    You are a genius mixer-upper!

  28. March 9, 2009 8:54 pm

    I’m so interested in your Dairy-Free Experiment! Thanks for keeping us posted… on your snot;) Seriously though, I am interested to see how this all ends up. The research on dairy is so very mixed!

    PS> Your barley bowl looks amazing.

  29. March 9, 2009 10:18 pm

    there is not much in the world that compares to a fresh ripe avocado. ps isnt sabra OUT OF THIS WORLD. i cant put it into words. love affair.

  30. March 9, 2009 10:21 pm

    You rock on w/ that crow!

    Did I ever tell you how fun I think it is that you live in Nashville. I am not sure why, I just kind of love it!

  31. March 9, 2009 10:44 pm

    1) Good for you with the gum! I ran out last week and as part of my new sugar deal, I decided not to buy more. Even though it’s not technically added sugar, I figure it’s not too great! I’ll have to get Altoids or something because I am seriously missing the chew. But I’m glad you’re seeing success 🙂

    2) Ouch! Sorry the yogurt didn’t make you feel so good…but it sounds freakin’ delicious!

    3) Glad the workshop is going so well! I am always impressed by you and your yoginess.

    Using avocado instead of cheese IS a great idea! I’m not sure if I’ve ever bought an avocado when it wasn’t already guacamole for me. Love that you also had some hummus on there, too. I haven’t tried Sabra sun dried tomato…I obviously need to change that, though!

  32. March 10, 2009 12:29 am

    Congrats on doing so great with the gum! I bet it feels great to succeed with something you werent sure how you could do!

    Another congrats on the yoga! I cant wait until I can do all the “fancy” poses! As for now, I feel good about being able to touch my toes again. 🙂

    Hope you had a good day at work!!

  33. March 10, 2009 3:31 am

    It’s good to know that one can live without dairy. Hehe–I have tried to give it up so many times before wth no success. I think it’s good that you had what you rcraved with the fro-yo, if only because it reenforced in your mind that you are better off without it.
    Avo as cheese on a pizza is definitely brilliant! Everything looks so wonderful as usual. Your eats really inspire me to eat better. Blog in general do this for me but seeing all your wholegrains & veggies makes me want to eat them, too!

  34. March 10, 2009 5:40 am

    your oatmeal looks great! and good job quitting the gum. 🙂

  35. March 10, 2009 6:50 am

    Heather, I cut out dairy (except for whipped cream) about a week ans half ago and I have lost 6 lbs.! Crazy. I really miss having shakes though (I always used yogurt. Need an alternative). Hey whats better the week or weekend for getting lunch? We need to do this soon before you leave Nash.


  36. March 10, 2009 7:14 am

    Your blended barley breakfast looks delicious!! I love barley and really any rice/grains.

    I’m curious about this talk of cashew milk … sounds good!

    Ha, and though it made you bloated and not feel well, the frozen yogurt place and what you got sounds like you defintely would have enjoyed it while eating it!! : )

  37. March 10, 2009 7:28 am

    I am also loving avocado’s right now.

    I am glad you are really enjoying your yoga workshop, it sounds so awesome!

  38. March 10, 2009 10:12 am

    What a mouthwatering bowl. Yum! I need to get on the carob chip train. Those look so good!

  39. March 10, 2009 12:22 pm

    What yummy food!

  40. March 10, 2009 4:11 pm

    I thought I would comment on this post so I do not enter myself extra times by accident! Anyways, Kevaccino is a smoothie from KEVA JUICE. This is a small chain around the south/western area of the US. They use sorbet and Fat Free Frozen Yogurt as well as fruit, etc. So fresh and yummy! The Kevaccino is nonfat frozen yogurt with a little chocolate sauce, some mocha thing and skim milk. Plus they add a free energizer (protein powderr, 100% vitamins (aka vitagizer)..your choice!). If you have one near by CHECK. IT. OUT!
    I have a Kevaccino once a week at least! 😀

    Thanks for “the move”! lol

  41. March 10, 2009 4:41 pm

    I probably would have done the yogurt too! It’s so good! I’m glad you splurged, even though it kinda hurt later 😉
    You’re right – counting is a horrible habit to break. I’ve tried for years and the ticker just automatically goes in my head. But it’s gotten easier for me and I have faith that it will for you too my sweet friend Heather!
    As always, your oat bran and barley look phenomenal and worthy of drooling!

  42. March 10, 2009 6:47 pm

    Thanks so much for your response. I must find a Keva Juice. My in-laws live in Arizona – maybe they have on there? Sounds like my kind of place. Enjoy a Kevaccino for me. 🙂


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