Thursday, December 29, 2011

Clean and Green

I have discussed the non vegetable eating boyfriend numerous times, so you all know I am constantly trying to sneak veggies into whatever I can. Veggie bread, veggie milk, veggie water. Okay just kidding, but I did sneak a whole handful of spinach in his shake this morning and he loved it. One point for me. 

Now, when I say I snuck it in, that is clearly a lie. There is no sneaking when your shake looks like your lawn threw up in your glass BUT I promise promise promise you cannot taste the spinach whatsoever. If you have picky kids, boyfriends, or you just don't care for veggies yourself I highly recommend you try this! It's the perfect way to get a serving of Vitamin packed spinach into your day without even realizing it. 

Switching gears to a very non-vegetable based food, Jamie Eason's Cinnamon Swirl Protein bread is the new must-make-every-week-since-last-week bread. You can make these just like you do any of the other bars, but I baked mine in a loaf pan and I think I'll continue to make this particular recipe that way. 

I followed Jamie's recipe for the most part, except I didn't do the "swirl" part because my batter was no where near as thick as hers is in this video. So, I just poured my extra cinnamon/sugar mixture on top so it ended up making kind of a crust of cinnamon sugar delighfulness. (Yep, just made that word up, feel free to use it whenever something is super delightful)

For topping:
1/3 cup sweetener (If you're using Truvia, you can use less than this)
2 tbsp cinnamon 
For bread:
1 1/2 cups oat flour
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup sweetener, depending on what brand/how sweet you want your bread
2 egg whites 
1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup non fat greek yogurt

1. I take the easy way (and maybe this is why my consistency is different that in the video) and just combine everything together and mix. 
2. Pour into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on top. 
3. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

For Jamie's specific directions including how to do the "swirl" part, you can click here! 

Have you tried any other veggies in your protein shakes?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday #7 & Giveaway!

I will admit, I almost forgot about WIAW this week since I had Monday off of work. I can't believe that it's already Wednesday, but I'll take it!

I typically put the carton egg whites in with my oats and a little protein powder, but I decided to switch it up since I am always super hungry after a leg day. Blueberry oats (hot) with egg whites on the side. Very filling!

Cottage cheese and a slice of Cinnamon Swirl Protein bread. Just cant' get enough! 

Jamie Eason Monster Meatloaf with Yam chips. Meatloaf doesn't photograph well, there's just no way to make it pretty!

Turkey Chili on a bed of spinach with avocado. My favorite meal of the day :)

Now, had I remembered it was WIAW, I would have planned a different dinner since I think I ate this exact same thing last week... sorry! I promise promise promise to have more variety next week. 

I ate my chocolate peanut butter casein pudding while fittingly watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory- I had forgotten how much I love that movie! 

Now, it's giveaway time! One present I forgot to mention yesterday was my new Crock Pot! I just bought my other one and I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've used it so it's practically brand new. Anyway, I was trying to think of what in the world I was going to do with it and I've decided I would love to give it away to one of you! 

Is it weird to give away a 4 times used crock pot? Perhaps, but I know when I didn't have one I would have taken a free one any day! So, there are two ways to enter:

1. Comment below and let me know what recipes from this blog you have tried, or would like to try.

2. Share my facebook page with your friends (just click the share link in the lower left hand corner) and comment here in a separate comment and let me know you shared! If you do both, you'll get two entries!

I will choose (at random) a winner on Saturday morning, so you have until Friday at midnight to enter! 

That's a wrap!

After all the planning, preparing, shopping, cooking, wrapping, it's all officially over with! I had an amazing Christmas and feel so lucky and blessed. Our Christmas festivities looked a like this: B's mom's house for Christmas eve dinner and presents, then to my parents house (dinner #2 for B), sleep at the parents house, bring in Dad's gifts at around 6am because he got a new dumbbell set, barbell and bench which would have been impossible to conceal under the tree, stockings breakfast and presents, then back to B's moms house to hang out with his nephew and have lunch. Back home to our house for a shower then straight to Christmas dinner at my mom's best friend's house. I am tired just writing all that! Needless to say when 10pm rolled around and we had met up with some friends my eyes were closing on their own and my head felt like it was going to explode. BUT it was all worth it, because we got to be around the people we love and I got so many amazing gifts! Here are just a few: {time to brag}

My Kitchen Aid mixer!! WOOHOOO!! Thank you Mom and Dad! They also gave me a clean eating cook book with tons of great recipes I can't wait to try.

A 6-pack bag!! Double WOOHOOO!! I had no idea B was getting this for me, and was so surprised when he said he actually ordered it a month ago. Very impressed.

A new knife set which we desperately needed. We were both actually very excited to cut up our veggies for kabobs that we made last night. So dorky, but I'm okay with that! 

Nike Lunarglides :) I needed these SO bad. You don't want to know what my other gym shoes look like. It's not pretty.

You can never go wrong with protein powder and Amino Energy! 

Definitely sad that it's all over, but I'm excited to put everything to use. Thanks for reading my bragging post, and for making it all the way to the end you get a heads up that I will be doing a giveaway tomorrow!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Two Clean Crock Pot Meals

If you tell me a meal is quick,easy, delicious, and can be ready the minute I walk through the door from work, I'm sold! I'll admit, sometimes the last thing I want to do after a long painful day at work is break out the pots and pans to make dinner, because then of course comes the cleaning and the portioning out which usually turns into more cleaning and before I know it, it's time for bed! I much prefer opening my door to the aroma of a fresh cooked meal that is just waiting to get into my belly. This, my friends is why I just couldn't live another day without a crock pot. So, like I mentioned before I bought a cheap-y just to try it out and see if I liked it/could cook with it. The verdict is in, and I'm in love. 

(Mock) Sweet and Sour Chicken 

3 large chicken breasts, cubed
1/3 cup reduced sugar ketchup
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can low sodium tomato sauce
6 Truvia packets
1 can diced pineapple and juice (optional)

1. Throw all ingredients in crock pot, mix well, and cook on low for 6 hours. 
Note: I didn't use the pineapple since it's so high in sugar, but I didn't quite get the "sweet and sour" taste so I'm guessing adding the pineapple would give more of the usual taste. We think it tasted great without it though! 

Crock pot salsa chicken 

3 large chicken breasts
1 container low sugar salsa
1 can low sodium tomato sauce
2-3 Tbsp taco seasoning 

1. Mix well in crock pot and cook for 8 hours on low. Once cooked you should be able to pull the chicken apart easily with a fork.

When I'm eating this for dinner I usually throw it on a salad with some tomato, avocado, and red onion. For lunch I will stick it in some Ezekiel brand tortillas with lettuce and tomato! Hopefully these recipes help out those busy Mom's and Dad's (or 24 year olds that are lazy tired like me) that are trying to stay on track with clean eating while doing a million other things :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tips for 2012

The end of the year is quickly approaching which means people are thinking about what it is in 2012 they would like to change about themselves or their lives in general. I've learned through personal experience that New Years resolutions are often related to health, fitness, and weight loss, and through research I've learned that more than 50% of people have broken their resolution come June. One thing I think can help tremendously is to make your resolution attainable which means setting a goal like, "I will start lifting weights three times a week and watch my sugar intake" instead of, "I want to look like Jamie Eason by the end of the year". Sure, maybe you can look like Jamie by the end of the year, but setting a more realistic goal may be the way you actually stick to your resolution this year. Here are a few smaller things you can focus on that will make a big difference!

Limit your cardio and start lifting- Doing cardio is undoubtedly good for your heart and I know some people live for their runners high, but it is not the way to shape and tone your body. Extended cardio sessions will actually cause your body to start tapping into muscle to use as energy and we don't want that! The more muscle you carry, the more metabolic your body is which basically means you have a higher metabolism. Having a high metabolism allows you to burn more calories throughout the day, ultimately leading to fat loss. I wish this is something more people knew and understood but unfortunately this myth about cardio to lose weight has been created and stuck with many, especially women. Cardio can definitely result in weight loss, but you will have that "skinny-fat" look that will never change unless you pick up the weights. Trust me, I know from experience.

Watch your sugar intake. This means fruit too. Sugar is one of the main contributors to that stubborn belly fat everyone wants to get rid of. Try to aim for no more than 5-6g of sugar in one sitting. Fruit is unfortunately high in sugar and although natural, still causes that spike in insulin which typically results in your body storing fat. Not to worry though, there are 2 times that you can eat fruit without hindering your progress: with breakfast or right after your workout along with protein. The sugar in the fruit will actually help transport the protein to your muscles faster, which is great!

Cut starchy carbs 3-4 hours before bed- This one might be a little harder to do, but getting rid of the grains like brown rice, Ezekiel bread, and oats later at night will be very helpful when trying to cut fat. Your body uses carbs as energy and when you eat them late in the day when your body doesn't need energy they will  likely be stored as fat. Instead opt for carbs that are lower on the GI index like spaghetti squash, yams, and any other veggies.

Please step away from the scale! That's right, throw it away! Scales are horrible ways to measure your progress. Scales cannot accurately read how much muscle is on your body or what your body fat percentage is so the number it gives you is basically useless. Your weight can fluctuate so much during one day due to your body holding water, food intake, etc. that truthfully it's not even worth looking at. Measure your progress using photos, the way your clothes fit, and accurate body fat percentage testing.

Remember to take baby steps changing one bad habit at a time, eventually everything will come together and you will be well on your way to the healthy lifestyle you want :)

What's your resolution? I want to know!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What I ate Wednesday #6

It's already Wednesday! Unbelievable how fast this week is going, I'm so happy! It's time for What I ate Wednesday! (even though it's actually what I ate Tuesday... shh!)

Blueberry overnight oats, and they're blue! I heated about 5 blueberries so they turned into liquid and mixed them in with egg whites, cinnamon, almond milk, and Truvia.

Blueberry banana protein shake for post workout

Cottage cheese and 2 blueberry muffins for snack... I devoured the first one before I remembered to take a picture... oops. And yes, I now have 3 to-do lists at work. Joy.

Huge salad with shredded salsa chicken, tomato, red onion, and avocado for lunch.

Clean pizza slice for a snack. This was pre lots and lots of red pepper flakes on top!

Mock sweet and sour chicken with brown rice and broccoli for dinner... recipe to come of course!

Casein puddin' right before bed... no picture, you know what it looks like :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blueberry Crepes and Apple Pie Overnight Oats

In an effort to keep the boyfriend who tires of the same food easily happy, I've tried out a couple new breakfast ideas. Well, I suppose I wouldn't call overnight oats new in fact they are eaten quite often around our house, but the crepes are definitely new and definitely going to be making some more appearances. 

Apple Pie Overnight Oats

1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup almond milk (more if you like your oatmeal more liquid-y)
2 heaping tbsp no sugar added applesauce
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
cinnamon to taste
apple pie seasoning to taste 

You know the drill- combine everything the night before and cover!
Note: You can omit the protein powder and almond milk and use 3/4 cup liquid egg whites. In this case you may want to add more sweetener. 

These are my new go-to as I make an attempt to start weaning myself off the pumpkin. {gasp!} Probably not going to happen.

Low Carb Blueberry Crepe

3/4 cup liquid egg whites (or 4-5 regular egg whites)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (You can substitute with 1/4 cup oat flour if you want to add in more carbs)
cinnamon to taste
1 packet truvia 
Greek yogurt or cottage cheese for filling
fruit of choice 

1. Spray pan with non stick spray and turn heat on low.
2. Whisk together egg whites, protein powder (or oat flour) and cinnamon. 
3. Pour mixture into pan so that it covers the entire bottom.
4. Crepe is ready to flip when bubbles appear and a spatula can easily be slid underneath (about 3-4 minutes) 
5. Once completely cooked fold in half and stuff with your choice of fruit and yogurt/cottage cheese. 

I made one for a snack over the weekend and used cottage cheese as my filling and drizzled a little sugar free maple syrup on top. It was divine. :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats

It's Christmas week!! 5 long short days of work until Santa comes down the chimney and I get a 3-day weekend, doesn't get much better than that! I wish I had a Christmas-y recipe to share with you, but I do not. I'm going to try to do some baking toward the end of the week so I can bring some healthier treats with us on our many stops between Christmas eve and Christmas night, but I haven't quite decided what I want to make... suggestions are welcomed! 

Until then, I will share with you an overnight oats creation of mine that will make you want to eat oatmeal for every meal of the day. (As if you don't already!)

1/2 cup oats
1 Tbsp All Natural Peanut Butter (peanuts and salt only)
1 Tbsp Sugar free jelly 
1/4 cup Almond Milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder 

1. Combine everything in a bowl at night and mix well (It takes a little while to get the PB &J mixed in). You may need to add more or less almond milk depending on the consistency you like your oats.
2. Cover your bowl and sleep. 
3. In the morning, uncover and eat! You can add additional toppings if you're feeling adventurous :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Fun!

I wasn't going to post today, but as I was making my daily blog rounds I saw this survey on Peanut Butter Fingers and decided I just had to steal it. It's December 15th which means 10 days til Christmas! Time to get in the spirit!

25 Questions: Holiday Edition! 

1. Egg nog or Hot chocolate?
That's a tough one, I'm going to have to say hot chocolate- even though both would kill my stomach!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa usually brings the big gifts and he just sets them out!

3. Colored lights or white?
White, without a doubt.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? 
No, but both of our parents do!

5. When do you hang your decorations up?
Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (not dessert)
Potatoes Au Gratin that my grandma makes, even though I am completely allergic to all the cheese and milk! 

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
Dancing with my dance studio every Christmas at the "Festival of the Trees" 

8. What is on your Christmas wish list?
Kitchen Aide mixer and new gym shoes! (Please oh please Santa, I've been really good this year and I really need both of these!!)

9. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve?
Sometimes... This one is all up to Mom!! B's family opens all their gifts on Christmas Eve though so I get the best of both worlds!

10. How do you decorate your tree?
It's pre-lit so all we have to do is add our ornaments and star on top!

B and I at Zoo Lights!

11. Real tree or fake?
Fake. Makes everyone's lives much easier.

12. Snow. Love it or dread it? 
Love it, but wouldn't want to live in it.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Oh man, I've had so many great gifts over the years... I think I cried when I got my Mac laptop though. 

14. Most important thing about Christmas?
Spending time with family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
A candy cane usually does the trick :)

16. What is your favorite tradition?
I love Christmas morning! We always wake up really early and have to wait at the top of the stairs so my mom can take a picture... then we get to run down and see what Santa put in our stockings. (Stockings are my favorite!!) 

17. What tops your tree?
A pretty gold star

18. Do you prefer giving or receiving?
Giving, of course. I love the anticipation of a loved one opening a big present!

Ice Skating last Christmas... I found out I'm not very good at it! 

19. Favorite Christmas song?
N*Sync Christmas CD or Jessica Simpson Christmas CD. Don't judge me!

20. Candy Canes. Yes or no?

21. Favorite Christmas movie?
Elf!! Love it and still need to watch it this year!

22. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?
Woops. Jumped the gun on this one.

23. Online shopping or at the mall?
Usually at the mall, but I did get a couple people presents on Cyber Monday this year.

24. Christmas letter or Christmas Card?
We always do Christmas Cards. Here is ours from last year

25. What do you leave for Santa?
Cookies and milk and a letter... he always writes back too! :)

Now your turn! I want to know some of your answers! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What I ate Wednesday #5

So, yesterday got off to a bit of a rough start.

When I make overnight oats, I make mine with 1/3 or 1/2 cup of oats and my gluten free, lactose free protein powder, while I make B about 1 cup with his protein powder (not lactose or gluten free). Well, somebody didn't notice his (my) oats tasted differently before devouring the whole bowl. I pulled this out of the fridge, took one bite, and freaked.

Okay, I didn't freak but I was so sad because I was really looking forward to these and I couldn't eat them without starting my day off with a horrible stomach ache. So, I opted for some warm oats with blueberries instead.

THEN, just as I'm finishing the bowl of oats I didn't really want to be eating, the electricity suddenly turned off. It actually wasn't very sudden, the lights started flickering for about a minute and then bam, they were gone. We called our provider and they said it would be out until 7:30am. So we lit all the candles we had an in the house to get ready for the gym and figured 7:30 would be perfect because that's when we get home from the gym.

No such luck. Lights were still out which meant a boring old protein shake with 1/2 a banana instead of a yummy blended one. This also meant showering by candle light, picking out clothes and doing hair (without straightener) by candle light, and doing my makeup in the car. Horrible. Can you say spoiled? Okay I'll shut up now.

Pumpkin protein bars were my morning snack. Don't mind my extensive to-do list in the background.

Soup was just perfect since it was rainy and chilly all day... Paired with a cheddar biscuit of course (B called me today for the sole purpose of telling me how much he liked the biscuits... I love when this happens!). I was on a conference call while I was eating and for future reference soup and conference calls do not mix well. 

Nothing new here- almonds and cottage cheese for afternoon snack.

Tilapia with broccoli for dinner using the spicy marinade. I haven't had broccoli in a couple months because it tends to really bloat/hurt my stomach, but I took a digestive enzyme right before and I didn't have any trouble.

Casein pudding before bed while watching the Biggest Loser (no picture). Am I the only one that gets really sad when shows end for the season? Ugh. So sad. 

Clean Cheddar Biscuits

When your non vegetable eating boyfriend asks you to make chicken and vegetable soup at least once a week, you listen. I don't really know how people don't like veggies but I'm relatively positive I could live on asparagus and zucchini for the rest of my life if I had to. Then there is B who would be happy if he never saw another veggie again... and don't even get me started on my sisters! My 18 year old sister eats tomatoes. Yep, that's it. She has been offered ridiculous amounts of money to take a bite of salad or eat a piece of broccoli and she just can't do it. WEIRDO. (love you)

I chopped up all my veggies the night before and marinated my chicken breasts in a can of low sodium stewed tomatoes with basil and oregano.

In the mix this time was cabbage, carrots, celery, onion, red bell pepper, and zucchini. I also added in 2 cans of low sodium tomato sauce and a can of garbanzo beans for a little more of a minestrone taste. I also made some cheddar biscuits- don't ask me why they semi look like cookies, because I don't know why, but they taste like biscuits I promise!

(Yields 6 biscuits) 
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder 
- 3/4 shredded almond cheddar cheese 
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley (I think I will use more next time, they weren't very parsley-y)
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp EVOO

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Combine all ingredients and mix in mixing bowl
3. Using a tablespoon set "balls" of the batter onto a prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown

Enjoy! And eat your veggies!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cheater cheater

You know that feeling after you do something that little voice in your head told you not to do? That you dummie feeling? Well, I don't know if you can tell, but I had that feeling in this picture. 

My little voice was telling me, "I told you that saki bomb would do nothing but make you feel tired and guilty and it was not going to be worth it." The voice was right. Saturday night B had a work event at a casino and I caved. Is it the end of the world? Of course not, but I am irritated with myself because I really wanted to stay true to my 100% clean til Christmas goal and I didn't. (I am glad though that my eating has been completely on point, but for me that's the easy part.) Want to know the worst part? Not worth it at all!! I didn't want to keep drinking so it just made me tired. Oh well, I will take the advice I always give others, shake it off and move on. 

You know what makes it really easy to move on? An arm workout that kicks your butt!! I'm so excited to be seeing small changes in my arms and hopefully they continue to get stronger over the next few months. 

{Please don't mind my lack of make-up and serious need of a tan.} A guy told B and I at the gym yesterday that we were the most committed couple he has seen in the gym. I love that man :)

Here's what our workout looked like:

Curls 4 sets of 10
Preacher curls 3 sets of 10 
Reverse curls 3 sets of 8
Overhead cable curl 3 sets of 8
Skull crushers 3 sets of 8 (I used the 50lb barbell... new record for me!)
Tricep pushdown with rope 3 sets of 10
Single arm overhead seated tricep press 3 sets of 8 
Close hand pushups 3 sets of 12

and then your arms will explode. Just kidding. But really. 

How are you all doing with being 100% clean til Christmas? 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Clean Chicken & Veggie Soup

Good thing I still have leftovers from making this the other night, because I stayed home from work today since this sick thing I have going on has finally caught up with me. Soup is perfect for these chilly days, perfect when you're sick, and well it's perfect when you're healthy too :) 

- 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
- 1 box of low sodium chicken broth (you can use vegetable if you want)
- veggies of choice; I used carrots, celery and onion. 
- 4 chicken breasts 
- 1 can low sodium stewed tomatoes
- 1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp italian spices
- 1 T chicken bouillon 
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- pepper to taste  

1. The night before I pre cut all my veggies so they were ready to throw in the crock pot the next morning. I also put my chicken into a ziplock bag and poured the can of stewed tomatoes in as well as a few shakes of oregano. Let this marinate overnight. 
2. Add all ingredients to crock pot and turn it to it's lowest setting. Let soup cook for about 8 hours. 
3. Using a fork, you should be able to shred the chicken easily (I didn't even take the chicken breasts out of the pot, just shred while they're still in there). 

You can make this a variety of ways, I can't wait to make it again... I might try adding some quinoa noodles next time. 

If you want some more cabbage soup inspiration check out that's where I was inspired! 

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