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Healthy Snacks: 10 Great Options For Staying On Track!

28 Feb

Let’s face it- I’m not someone who has 5 or 10 pounds to lose. I have many, many pounds to spare {I’m giving them away for free, if anyone is interested}. Staying on track is difficult enough without the added, burdensome question: what to eat?

This is by no means a list to end all lists, but is simply a compilation of which snack foods I find to be most helpful in this weight loss endeavor. My list is based on foods that are beneficial to one’s overall health. They must also relatively filling, affordable and easy to prepare. So, without further rambling adieu, ladies and gents- the list:

10 Healthy Snack Ideas

1. Vegetables with Homemade Hummus {I have not actually made this recipe for hummus, so don’t get mad at me if it sucks. I was nice enough to include a link to the recipe, so just be grateful you didn’t have to look that up yourself.}

2. Walnuts or almonds. Measure according to the serving size, and store in small Ziplock bags. I keep pre-portioned bags in my car and purse for a quick and healthy post-workout snack.

3. Whole fruit

4. Green Monster Smoothie {more of a meal than a snack, but highly recommended for taste, convenience and nutritional value!}

5. Plain Greek yogurt. Add fresh fruit for flavor and added nutrition. It’s yum.

6. Frozen red grapes. Great for a warm weather snack!

7. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk with one serving of Post {unfrosted} shredded wheat, spoon size. I’m a recovering cereal addict, and this satisfies my carb cravings without the guilt.

8. Apple wedges with organic, reduced-fat peanut butter.

9. Pineapple wedges with Greek yogurt {plain or vanilla is best}

10. Reduced fat string cheese

So there ya have it. Nothing earth-shattering here, but maybe it will give someone some inspiration to put down the bag of Ruffles or that innocent looking “100 calorie” handful of cookies {yeah, I’m talking to you}. Enjoy!

10 Minute Dinner…For Real.

27 Feb

We made this for dinner last night and clocked the preparation at a whopping ten minutes, from start to finish. Normally, we’re all about fresh veggies, but when time is not on our side, we shamelessly whip out the frozen vegetables- better than canned! We each had one fillet, which is technically two servings, so keep that in mind if you’re a rock star who counts calories, like me. Don’t try to be gangster and substitute the haddock for another type of fish like salmon, then come back to yell at me on the blog when it took longer than ten minutes. Haddock is a quick-cooking fish! You can, however, substitute it with tilapia. We pulled together a delicious, easy and quick dinner in less time that it would take to get in your car and wait in a drive-through. There goes your “not enough time to eat healthy” excuse. You’re welcome.

10 Minute Haddock Dinner

Serves 2-4

  • 2 frozen or fresh boneless Haddock Fillets, whole {about 8 oz.} -if frozen, thaw ahead of time
  • 1 bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower or other veggie of your choice {make your life even easier and grab the frozen vegetables that you can steam in the bag- easier and tastier}
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • 2 Russet potatoes

Directions:

1. Heat oil or butter in a large non-stick pan. Meanwhile, pierce potatoes with a fork several times all the way around each potato. Place potatoes on a microwave safe dish and nuke for 3 minutes {using an oven mitt, turn over and cook for another 3 minutes}. When potatoes are done, carefully remove them from microwave and cut a slit down the center of each potato. Nuke your veggies according to the directions on the bag.

2. Carefully place fish in the heated pan, skin side up. Season with garlic powder, parsley and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes or until fillets change color about halfway up from the bottom. Flip carefully, season liberally and cook another 5-7 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees. Remove fish from pan, and squeeze lemon over fish.

3. Plate the fish and veggies, season potatoes with pepper and butter if that’s your thing and enjoy!

#*%! You, Scale.

26 Feb

Only one pound down on the scale last week. ONE. 1. Seriously? I know I worked harder than that. I also know that I could have done better. People in my circle have tried to convince me that this is “still one pound down”. Derrrr. But, it’s a single pound. Everyone knows that one is the loneliest number in the world {one dollar bill, one glass of wine, one condom left…you get the idea}. I can think of a million things wrong with that number. “It’s simple math”, everyone likes to tell me when referring to the calories in-calories out formula of weight loss. Simple?! Since when is the complex biology of a human body {let alone a female body} simple?

Here was my thought process moments before my trainer announced my lonely one- pound loss: Please, God, just one pound. That’s all I need- just one! Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten those pretzels the other night. Maybe I shouldn’t have told my husband I had a headache the other night- at least I would’ve burned some calories. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Just one pound, just one pound. I got my one pound, and wanted to punch the wall. I have a million excuses for not losing more. Legitimate obstacles, but excuses nonetheless. I had worked hard, but not as hard as I could have. I felt betrayed by my own body, and after leaving my training session, I just wanted to drown my sorrows {and face} into a pint of Death by Chocolate. With sour cream and onion chips on the side.

And then something great happened. I didn’t race to the grocery store to buy that bag of chips OR the pint of chocolate death. In a crazy, unforeseen turn of events, I raced home and made a Green Monster Spinach Smoothie. Instead of exercising my rights {at the drive thru} to order enough empty calories to feed the Duggar Family, I exercised in my living room with the Xbox Kinect! Uncharacteristically, I did not sabotage myself in attempt to punish my body. I chose to make that one-pound my friend. My other extra pounds welcomed it with open arms. We’re all one big happy family..and I can’t wait to get rid of them ALL.

Tuscan Tuna Pasta

20 Feb

Tuscan Tuna Pasta

Adapted from My Recipes

Buy It:

  • Uncooked pasta, about 8 oz.
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced OR 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cans white albacore OR chunk light tuna in water; drained

Do It:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat half of the oil on medium-high heat; add onion. Cook until browned slightly, then add remaining ingredients to pan. Add pasta, and toss to coat. Eat it up!

Someone Call 9-1-1, I lost My Ass!

20 Feb

To be fair, only some of my ass is missing. No need for law enforcement, just yet.

When I look back on all the years of abuse my body has endured, my heart breaks for it. I’ve neglected it, stretched it, distorted it, beaten it to a bloody pulp and left it for dead. I gave up on it. I cursed at it and called it names. All this, and it’s still standing.  That’s not to say it didn’t get revenge. Not. At. All. My body bitch-slapped me and paid me back in spades – pancreatitis, diabetes, joint problems, chronic pain, sleep apnea, fat rash (don’t pretend you have no idea what I’m talking about), migraines (high blood sugar), fertility problems, can’t-tie-my-own-shoes-itus (it’s real, folks). I’m sure you can imagine that all that would make anyone want to give up. And I did- big time.

But the after the second time I was in the hospital with pancreatitis, something clicked. I knew exactly what I had to do, and I knew exactly how to do it. I didn’t care if it meant “giving up” French fries and three-inch thick cheeseburgers with a side of onion rings and ranch dressing…I was so over this. So cliché, I know, but I made a resolution for New Year’s to make 2012 The Year of Change. It made sense. This year we’ve begun the adoption process, and I knew deep down that if I continued on this path of self-destruction, I might not be around to take care of a child, much less keep up with one. While I was in the hospital, I learned that I won a free gym membership, a personal trainer (I actually have two ‘cause that’s how I roll) AND an Xbox Kinect, courtesy of this gym.

Seriously?! Could the universe be trying to tell me something? Basically what’s going on here is that there is someone above watching out for me, and I’ve been give every single tool imaginable to make this happen, y’all. It’s week three, and so far, I’ve lost almost 4 lbs. Not mind-blowing, but there are 4 lbs. of my ass lying around somewhere out there. I’ll take it! Never give up, never surrender! (did I just quote Buzz Lightyear? Hell yes, I did).

Eggplant “Lasagna”

17 Feb

Eggplant Lasagna

Makes about 4-6 square servings

Buy This:

1 24-oz. jar of marinara sauce or homemade

3 medium size eggplants or 2 large, sliced into ½ inch rounds

Cooking spray

Ricotta cheese (I use fat-free ‘cause I’m cool like that)

½ c. grated parmesan

Garlic powder (load it up if you’re a freak like me)

1 tablespoon Oregano/basil

8 oz. of shredded mozzarella (or more, if you’re feeling naughty)

Salt and pepper to taste

Do This (you’ll need a 9×13 or whatever size casserole dish, cooking spray and foil):

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Spray bottom and sides of casserole dish with cooking spray; spread about half of the sauce on bottom of casserole dish. Top sauce with eggplant slices. Take a small spoon and scoop ricotta onto each slice of eggplant – spread it around a bit. Sprinkle generously with seasonings and half of the parmesan cheese. Repeat until eggplant/ricotta is completely layered.
  3. Add more parmesan if you’re a real badass. Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes or until eggplant is tender. Remove from oven; top with mozzarella cheese and even more parmesan, if you’re totally insane. Return to oven, uncovered, for about 4 minutes until cheese melts (or broil for about 2 minutes-this is when it gets magical). Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.