Healthy and Sane

Photo geek

April 8th, 2010 · 24 Comments · breakfast, Ellie Krieger, shrimp, snacks

Aruba! Aruba! Aruba!! Oh wait, we don’t leave until tomorrow. I took today off so I can finish my mile-long to-do list without pulling my hair out, so basically I have zero work days left until vacation. My excitement is quite built up at this point since after yesterday’s 90* weather here in Boston (!!!!!), it’s back to the 50’s (and rain is in the forecast too). I tasted that sweet nectar of sunshine and I want MORE. πŸ˜‰

Ok, so back to yesterday. It was such a great day. The crazy awesome weather called for a super girly outfit and despite the fact that I only got to go outside for maybe 10 minutes during the day, I still felt like summer was here. Combine that with a kickass workout during lunch and the fact that I was hours away from not seeing the office until mid-next week, the day just flew by. It ended on a high note too – my photography class was awesome!! You see I was actually kind of dreading it because I wanted to enjoy the aforementioned sunshine with maybe a nice glass of sangria in my hand, but alas, I paid for the class and I am determined to get the most out of it. Guys, learning what your camera can do is the coolest!!! The second I stepped foot in the class, I was just so happy (forgetting about the traffic jam and detour that cost me an hour of my life I’ll never get back… oh and that 20 minutes I was looking for parking afterwords). I get it now. I GET IT. Wanna see a little sample of what your camera sees on automatic? This is obviously a white peace of paper (on a light gray table).


Looks dark and grayish, right? Here is what the picture looks like at 2 stop higher.


Ahha, that’s what the white paper actually looks like. The exposure meter gets confused sometimes – it wants to take all the pictures at light gray. That’s why using the camera on manual really does make the difference. Our cameras are smart but sometimes they are just off. Pretty cool, right? :) I was super intimidated to use the camera on manual mode before, but now I’m excited. It’s really quite easy and you have so much more control over the final photo. Instead of the camera deciding what looks best, you get to do that. I can’t wait to learn more over the next few weeks. I hope to be an expert by the time the class is over. πŸ˜‰

All right…. how about some food photos?


2 banana walnut muffins with peanut butter and cherry preserves + coffee




I ate them like little muffin “sandwiches” :)


Who says healthy food is boring?




Abs + spin + stretch. Every part of this workout made me feel out of shape but it felt so good to sweat. I am still surprisingly tight from the patio work on Sunday. I guess I was squatting for hours and this did a number on my legs. πŸ˜•


I thought I could make a turkey sandwich for lunch but apparently we had no turkey at home. Oops. I grabbed every veggie and spread from the fridge and threw it in my Baggu for work. This is what you get as a result…


ww toast with baba ganoush + ww toast with hummus, 1/4 large avocado and cilantro + carrots and daikon radish and sprouts


Random, I know! Quite yummy though. πŸ˜€


IT’S CEIMB Thursday! (Well, I ate it on Wednesday but blogging about it on Thursday, so it counts.) This week’s recipe for garlic basil shrimp (recipe here) was chosen by Tea and Scones. It was a bit ambitious of me to cook something right before my photography class but it seemed easy and quick enough.


Can I share with you one of my pet peeves when it comes to recipes? Including “cooked” ingredients that you normally wouldn’t already have cooked on hand. I get cooked chicken or something. You may have leftovers of that, but I doubt anyone in the world just has cooked orzo hanging around the house.


So I skimmed the directions for the recipe and didn’t see a grain and decided to serve the shrimp with quinoa since it’s quick. Only later I realized that it was supposed to be served with orzo and I think that would have been much better. This was quick and easy. Adam’s review: “Nice simple dinner. I like it!” … but I wasn’t blown away (neither was he). I think the orzo could have really absorbed more of the wine sauce, while the quinoa was too hearty for it. I’d give this recipe another go. Definitely a good one for a weeknight (short ingredient list and quick). I bet feta would be a nice addition too.



“I’m stuck in traffic and I’m hungry” snack – KIND almonds & coconut. VERY sweet but I like the whole almond chunks!


Post class snack – I’m always hungry for some reason after class! So I accidently bought 4 jars of almond butter at Shaw’s yesterday. I couldn’t help myself – both kinds were on sale. Here is a little comparison of MaraNatha and Barney Butter.


Their ingredients list is identical but look at the color difference between the two. Are they using different kinds of nuts?


I had mini toasts with each nut butter (added some banana slices after tasting them plain). My verdict? Both are awesome – in fact they are pretty darn close in taste. It’s hard for me to cheat on my beloved Barney Butter. Ideally I would actually love to recreate it at home, but until then, I would probably buy whatever is cheaper (without the sale, Barney Butter is usually cheaper).

That was the perfect way to end the night, although I was totally pumped and couldn’t go to sleep. I kept telling Adam all these new things I learned at photography class. I guess I’m a geek. 😯

All right, I’m off. Going to the Taste of the Nation event tonight and will do a review of that event soon (most likely will write it on the plane tomorrow morning and will publish it as soon as I can). It should be an amazing event for a great cause (all proceeds go to stop childhood hunger) and they are all over the country so if you like what you see, maybe you’d want to attend your local one.

A few other “logistics” – I am not sure if I’ll be able to blog during vacation. I’m sure I’ll stop by to say hello at some point, but I probably won’t do full day recaps. We’ll see how it goes. It’s hard for me to stay away from this blog. :mrgreen: In the meantime, I’ve received a few guest posts which I will feature during my absence. So definitely check in and say hello to the wonderful ladies that wrote such inspiring posts. Happy Thursday! I’m off to pack….

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24 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Lauren @ Eater not a runner

    Love the “taste test” idea! Have fun at taste of the nation!

  • #2 - Cristina

    Enjoy Aruba! and remember to wear sunscreen. The sun is extremely hot and it’s easy to get burnt! Make sure to taste all the fab food that Aruba has to offer.

    PS: Carlos ‘n Charlies in downtown Aruba is nothing special. You don’t need to go there.

  • #3 - Candice

    I loved my photography class when I took it years ago. I have a manual film camera, but not digital. I’m saving up for a digital one so my blog can include “real” pictures of my food.

    Enjoy your vacation!

  • #4 - MelissaNibbles

    Great photos!

    I’ve always wondered about the color of Barney Butter. It’s struck me as odd…

  • #5 - Run Sarah

    I have that pet peeve too, I hate when recipes do that…I find casseroles are the worst for that!

  • #6 - Erica

    I don’t know if I could choose between Barney Butter or Maranatha! They are both so delicious :)

  • #7 - Julie

    Hmm, I wonder if they just have a different method of roasting the nuts and making the nut butter.

    Have a fun vaycay :)

  • #8 - janetha

    so many fun things to say about this post! i love your cute muffin sandwiches, your cooking pet peeve cracked me up, i REALLY want to take a photog class.. i mean, i take a LOT of photos, i wish i knew more about my camera! and that kind bar is m favorite kind of kind (hah).. it is the protein one, right? and finally, foodbuzz sent me to a taste of the nation event once and i LOVED it. have fun!

  • #9 - Sophie @ yumventures

    Have sooooo much fun in Aruba! Bring some sunshine back with you!

    My favorite almond butter is the Trader Joe’s brand, especially the roasted with flax seeds! A must try, and less than $5 a jar!!

  • #10 - One Healthy Apple

    Enjoy your trip- I so wanted to do a guest post but missed my chance- work and school kicked my bootay!

    I’m looking forward to the guest posts! I am loving the AB taste test :)

  • #11 - Megan

    Where are you taking photography classes? I am thinking about getting a fancy new camera, but I have no photography skills, so I feel like a class like that would be super helpful!

  • #12 - Kelly

    Glad you’re enjoying your camera. I actually wished I had taken my class at a different time because I will admit that with the move I didn’t get to practice as much as I wanted and ended up a little too distracted at times. My camera has actually been giving me problems with the auto focus lately so my goal for this weekend is to figure out if it’s just me adjusting to my new lighting situation or if some how I did something to it in the move. :-( Hoping it is the former.

  • #13 - Kylee

    You’re the coolest chick! I wish I lived near where you do and had exciting classes and things to take! I live out in Oregon. On a farm in the country! LOL But the advantage is we grow all our own veggies and have a pear, apple, orange and a lemon tree in our back yard. And it’s gorgeous here but the exciting city life is 50 miles away from us in Portland. I kind of live vicariously through your posts!
    Have fun in Aruba! Woot! Woot!

  • #14 - Elina

    Thanks, Cristina! We are staying at an all-inclusive resort so hopefully the food there is good and we won’t have to venture out (and pay extra), but still good to know πŸ˜€

    Melissa – yeah, now that I think about it, I agree. Why is it so orange? The ingredients list seems normal though. Weird.

    Janetha – I don’t think it was the protein one. I thought you’d see the name of it on the wrapper in the pic so I threw it away but apparently not. I guess we’ll call it a mystery kind bar. :)

    Sophie – I’ve seen that ab all over the blogworld and Shannon just told me on our walk on Tuesday that it’s her favorite these days. I need to get my hands on it (after I finish the other 4 jars I just bought and the ones I already had… yeah, I’m an addict.) πŸ˜†

    One Healthy Apple – if you want to do it some other time, you definitely can. Just email it to me.

    Megan – I’m taking the classes at the Brookline high school (adult education classes). They were the cheapest I could find and since I had zero knowledge on how to use my camera, I’m finding it super helpful.

    Kelly – oh no. I hope it’s that former too. Does it have those problems outside in the sun too?

    Kylee- haha, your life seems pretty cool too but definitely different. I’ll give you that. Glad you’re enjoying the blog. I wouldn’t mind leaving on a farm for a week. πŸ˜‰

  • #15 - Gabriela (froyolover)

    YUUM – amazing eats, girl!
    IΒ΄ve seen your camera, and IΒ΄m sure itΒ΄s tons of fun to learn what it can do :)
    Loved the nut-butter tasting session!
    Have a great day, Elina!
    Brazilian XOXOΒ΄s,

  • #16 - Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)

    The pics look great — getting educated about using technology is important but I always put it off. 😳 Enjoy your trip!

  • #17 - maria

    I had a photojournalism class in college and it really is neat all the things a camera can do, but you gotta take it off auto first! Some people are too scared to experiment.

  • #18 - Diana

    I always have my camera on manual! So much better. And it is easy once you “get it”! The best thing you can do is practice practice practice! Take photos of everything and everyone. :)
    Have fun tonight!

  • #19 - Shannon

    Have a wonderful time! Can’t wait to see the recap of the trip :)

  • #20 - Shannon

    have a great time!!!!! a well deserved break from reality :) at least you had a coupon for one of those nut butters! i have been playing with my camera in manual mode, but still need to get out more. maybe you can show me some things after the class πŸ˜‰ i hate to say that with my upcoming trips $$ was the deciding factor :(

  • #21 - Alisha

    I’ve never had Barney Butter; Maranatha crunchy (my favorite) and smooth are the only almond butters my grocery store sells!

  • #22 - Dominique

    I can’t believe that something so awesome as Taste The Nation is not happening in Toronto. I love the idea and spirit behind it. What the heck?!

    I’m sad that you don’t like the A&C Kind bar. You’re actually the one that got me into Kind bars and so far, A&C is my fave. I’ve only tried two though, A&C and Nut Delight. I think my Nut Delight was a little bit stale because it was SUPER hard. I have the Nut and Apricot one that I still have to try. At $2.39 each, they’re a very big treat.

  • #23 - Naomi (onefitfoodie)

    hmm very interesting about the two nut butters! I think barney buter has some added oils, no? like palm oil in there…maybe thats what making the colors different? the maranatha looks more roasted than the BB

    your muffins look DELICIOUS i love the idea of making muffin sandwiches!!

  • #24 - Liz

    I agree about the TJ’s almond butter with flax seeds – it’s yum! But, I haven’t tried those others so I can’t compare. I’m not good at portion control with nut butters lol

    Hope you’re having fun in Aruba!! So jealous :) Take lots of pictures so I can live vicariously through your trip.